Tuesday, October 9, 2018

Body Swap by Sylvia McNicoll

Hallie is walking through a parking lot, dreaming of running into the boy she hopes will be her first kiss, when she is hit by an SUV driven by an elderly woman.  Both Hallie and the driver, Susan, end up in the afterlife and they argue about who's to blame.  God - posing as a man named Eli - gives them the opportunity to return to Earth but when they get there, they find they have swapped bodies.  Now Hallie has to feel the pains of old age while Susan is living it up in her young body.  Both of them find they have things to learn from the other.

I love a body or soul swap story and all the inherent lessons learned which is what attracted me to this title in the first place.  But in the execution of this story, I was not so impressed.  One of the main issues was trying to keep the two characters straight.  I don't know how the author could've written them more clearly so that I'd be able to picture who was narrating at any particular time but it wasn't this way.  I invested way too much time working out the dynamics of who was speaking and what the relationships were with the friends and family members in each scene.  Aside from that, I was also just not very interested in how the SUV story played out, particularly how Susan's son finally got on board with the issues.  Finally, the usual trope for these stories is that both parties learn something about how great they have it already but I wasn't seeing any reason for Susan to feel like she wanted her old body back. 

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