Book Review: Stirring the Sheets

STIRRING THE SHEETS | Chad Lutzke
04.13.2018 | Bloodshot Books
Rating: 5/5 stars

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Emmett is an elderly funeral home worker who is struggling to cope with the loss of his wife. He can’t bring himself to change the sheets from the last night she slept in their bed. Emmett knows that he needs to move forward in his life. He’ll never forget his wife, but he can’t spend his days in a state of isolation the way he has been.

The corpse of a young woman arrives at the funeral home one day and Emmett can’t shake the uncanny resemblance the woman has to a younger version of his wife. He soon finds himself with an unnatural attraction to the corpse. How far is Emmett willing to let himself go before the loneliness of his life swallows him whole?

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Death didn’t just steal away his bride, it stole rationale, mental health, and hope.

STIRRING THE SHEETS is my first novella by Chad Lutzke, but I think it’s safe to say it certainly won’t be my last! The minute I picked up this tiny book I felt a strong connection to the narrator, Emmett. Lutzke’s writing radiates the feelings of desperation and loneliness that encompasses Emmett’s life. Each page pulled on my heart strings as Emmett describes his daily routine. The monotony of working at the funeral home and dealing with his youthful and obnoxious neighbor.

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There’s comfort in loneliness, somehow.

Emmett’s life is forever changed with the corpse of a young woman who resembles his wife. The lengths that Emmett is willing to go to in order to fill the void his wife left behind are heartbreaking in a way that makes the reader ask themselves, would I do that? While there is little that brings Emmett joy, the reader also feels a sense of hope for his future. While you might find his actions unsettling, Lutke’s writing instills within the reader a yearning for a better life for Emmett. Lutzke has packed this small book with a story that feels more authentic than any average work of fiction.

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