Sunday, December 30, 2012

Come In and Cover Me by Gin Phillips

Come In and Cover Me. Gin Phillips. Penguin Group (USA) Inc. December 2012. 352 pp. ISBN #: 9781594486487.

"I have to believe the pieces can fit together...We owe them that, to tell the truth about them," said archaeologist Ren Taylor.  She and Silas Cooper have met at Crow Creek, an archaeological dig outside of Albuquerque, New Mexico because he's found another piece of an Indian ceramic bowl that he knows she'll want to see.  She is an expert on these artifacts and believes they were all made by one particular Indian girl. It takes time for the reader to understand how Ren knows this is so.  It all has to do with the death of her brother, Scott, when she was just twelve years old.

Ren has a unique gift or curse, depending on your point of view.  She senses the spirits of ghosts, including her brother and gradually as the story unfolds that of two Indian women, one younger and the other older.  As these visions are increasing, Ren and Silas are falling in love. At first it seems so perfect.  But Silas's inability to believe in Ren's gift and her ability to listen and hear the story of these very talented but haunting women, Lynay and Non, unnerves him, slightly souring their relationship.  Sparks of love and arguments begin to fly as each displays weakness to the other.

The dig provides more and more clues to the lives of a "lost" people, their lives paralleling the losses in Ren's life.  There are many ways of dying and this tale is about ability to live perpetually in denial or to embrace the loss and move beyond it to creativity and beauty.  Yes, it even means being able to mourn in order to free the Spirit to fully live.  One has to be vibrantly alive to tell the story of the "lost" ones, and that telling makes even the objects left behind in the passing even more enchanting and gorgeous! Then true love blossoms!

Come In and Cover Me is a unique story of love, death, loss and recovery; indeed it is a story of resurrection evolving out of the healing of love, memories, dreams, visions, and open and honest dialogue.  The story is well-crafted, thoughtful, imaginative, and unforgettable in its gracious unfolding!  Poignant, simply lovely contemporary fiction!

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