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Explaining the Disappointment – I am sorry, Mrs. Harris

Follow-up to previous post, After “Dead Ever After”

WARNING: There are spoilers and my post just won’t make sense unless you’ve read the book.

I completed ‘Dead Ever After’ within days of its long-awaited release. I didn’t want to write a knee-jerk review. I wanted to time to process and think about the series as a whole.

A week later, I’m still a little sad.

I tried to prepare myself. The conclusion of ‘Deadlocked’ pretty clearly spelled out the end of Sookie and Eric’s relationship. I never saw Sookie with Eric long-term anyway. Despite the fact I love Eric (He and Pam have the best lines), he loved Sookie as much as he was able, which in my opinion, not enough.

Then there is Bill. Constant, broody, a little stalky Bill always lurking amongst the tombstones. I really thought he would play a major role in Sookie’s …Ever After. Even if he didn’t get the girl, I expected his self-sacrificing nature to lead to Sookie ending up happily settled. I’ll qualify that by arguing Bill telling Sookie about Eric’s deal with Sam doesn’t count. Gossiping does not an undying-love-plead make. I was wholeheartedly by the token Bill appearances. The episode with the fang-banger writer was completely unnecessary except as an excuse for Bill to walk over to Sookie’s house and say ‘hey, I’m in the book’.

That unfortunately was the theme of ‘Dead Ever After’. It was like roll-call of characters past. Barry Bellboy, Quinn, Amelia, Bob Mustapha, Warren, Steve Newlin, Arlene, Alcide, Mr. Cataliades, Diantha, Anyone ever in a Sookie Book made an appearance. But they didn’t really have presence, at least not to me. They just checked-in, told Sookie they thought she was a fine lady (or wanted to eat out her heart) and went on their way. I got generally annoyed by how often Mr. Harris reminded us that the citizens of Bon Temps thought Sookie was an all-around great gal. I understand that – from Sookie’s point-of-view – it was new to realize that the people around her didn’t fear her and in most cases liked and respected her. I think Mrs. Harris was trying to show Sookie as being a real grown-up, comfortable with her place in her community. But the repetitive storytelling was exhausting.

Finally, the cause of distress throughout the Sookieverse.

Sam. Loyal. Steadfast. Sookie’s Friend Sam.

I like Sam. I rooted for him in Books 1-3, but after Mrs. Harris repeatedly put him in the ‘friend-zone’ I stopped seeing him as a serious contender. The last legitimate shoot he was way back in Book 5 ‘Dead as a Doornail’. He and Sookie shared a brief moment after her house was burned, but Bill and Sam’s broken/shoot leg cut short their moment. Since, Mrs. Harris has drilled the idea that Sam cares very deeply for Sookie and she for him but as F-R-I-E-N-D-S. I feel a little cheated that she pulled him off the bench at the last-minute. I feel fully cheated that she didn’t give them a real ‘…Ever After’. Sam and Sookie are barely dating at the end.

Throughout the series, various characters warned Sookie she should change her ways if she wants to like much longer. (Dating a vampire is hazardous.) Even Mrs. Harris’s stance that Sookie would never become a vampire, a human or shifter were her most likely longterm choices. However, I hate that her decision to be with Sam seemed to occur by process of elimination. I wanted Sookie to have true uncompromising love affair. It didn’t have to be with prince charming, her hero could have a few personal demons but his feelings for her (and hers for him) should be unwavering.

I didn’t need a white wedding but I wanted to feel secure in Sookie’s happiness before I bid her good-bye.

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