Troubador The Significant Others of Odie May

Released: 28/07/2021

ISBN: 9781800463714

eISBN: 9781800465831

Format: Paperback/eBook

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The Significant Others of Odie May


On the night Odie May and her married lover are due to celebrate him leaving his wife, Odie goes out to buy a bottle of his favourite wine and, on her way home, is murdered by a woman in a lime green coat. But Odie’s story does not end there… 

Next, she finds herself in a waiting room with a man who introduces himself as Carl Draper and who tells her he is her Initial Contact. He is carrying a clipboard and invites her into an interview room. Over the course of her interview, Carl guides Odie back through the years, asking her about the significant others in her life in a quest to work out what she’s done wrong, who might have murdered her and why. 

As Odie comes to realise the truth about herself, the life she’s led and her death, she's given a choice: Carl can put her back to the moment before she was murdered and prevent it from happening, but this comes at a price Odie doesn't know if she can pay and, as she decides, she not only begins to understand what she has to do to become the person she should have been all along, but who is her most significant significant other.

Claire's third collection, 'Yield', was published by Two Rivers Press in February 2021. More information can be found on her website.

Wokingham Today

Odie May is a magnificent book. I’ve enjoyed every minute. What a charming and flawed and endearing character Odie is, and what a clever and intriguing idea behind her. The tale is psychologically so sound and emotionally engaging. I was totally wrapped up in the story from page one and had no idea how it would end… although such a satisfying ending. A really great read. I love Dyer’s books but this is the best so far.

by Hilary Boyd

I loved this one. Very fast paced, had me turning pages as I tore through it – I had to see how it would end. The characters were well rounded and the narrative felt believable. Gave me chills. Solid five.

by NetGalley review

Odie Odie Odie May. What a wonderfully flawed and imperfect character.

I loved this weird book.

Opening with an interview, we, the reader, know that Odie May has been murdered. She's been at a wine shop, buying a bottle of wine to celebrate with her lover leaving his wife - when she's murdered. But...who did it. We walk through Odie's past - seeing her rights and her wrongs. We learn to love and hate her.

It's an interesting way to read and learn about someone - and I loved every page.

Original review:

by NetGalley review

This was definitely an interesting book with an interesting premise. It wasnt a book that had me gripped all the way through but it did keep me guessing and when I thought I knew what had happened I was completely wrong. It was an enjoyable read.

Original review:

by NetGalley review

Okay so I'm a huge fan of interpretations of afterlife bureaucracy and this is by far one of my favourites. One of stories that's definitely all about the journey, all about learning about a character as they learn about themselves - so having subject like Odie made this something memorable.

Odie was described as 'mesmeric and insistent' and that's definitely fitting. She isn't likeable, exactly, but there's something interesting and alluring about her. Considering she's literally a murder victim, Dyer did a beautiful job at not showing her as just a victim - but a fully rounded person, a victim and victimiser, a flawed and unreliable person who's also capable of love and compassion.

This story will make you think whether you like it or not - it makes you wonder about how the relationships you have throughout your life can shape and mould you - the girl you have your first crush on, the man who already has a wife, the friends you take advantage of, the parents who you can't talk to.

The writing was strangely poetic, with a mesmerising flow to it that sucked me in and didn't let go. Even with the fragmented, haphazard storytelling Odie tells us, everything falls into place perfectly.

Uniquely compelling, witty and heartfelt - This story is definitely one of a kind

Original review:

by NetGalley review

Odie May is on her way to celebrate her lover Michael leaving his wife. However she is tragically murdered by a woman with large hands wearing a lime green coat.

She wakes up in a beige waiting room with beige walls. Carl Draper appears and announces that he is her Initial Contact. Clip board in hand, he escorts her into an interview room. It is over the course of this interview that Odie and Carl backtrack to certain significant events in her life as we as decisions that may have gotten her to where she is today. Simultaneously, Carl is able to show Odie her how her family learns of her death as well as her boyfriend’s bizarre reaction.

After she witnesses her funeral, the person who murdered her is revealed and Odie needs to make a decision. Does she stay where she is or does she go back to her life minutes before her murder? This decision comes with consequences that further questions Odies character.

I really enjoyed this book. It was different from most things I’ve read and I flew through it. I really liked how they wove Odie’s experiences with interviews with the killer. I thought I knew who the killer was and what Odie would decide. In the end I was wrong and I’m not mad about it.

Original review:

by NetGalley review

Wow what can I say about this book, when I first started it I wasn’t so sure it was my kind of read but it was really gripping full of detail, Odie is such an unusual character, I started out not so keen on her but as the story went on my opinion changed, the book takes you back to revisit her life, looking at her flaws as she tries to figure out how she got into the situation she finds herself in!!

Original review:

by NetGalley review

Wow, this book! I haven’t seen anyone talking about it but it’s so damn good! Odie Mays is murdered and finds herself in this beige room - a sort of in between of Heaven and Hell. She must recount the terrible things she has done in her life so “the big G” can determine if she feels remorse or not. And, well, Odie has done some pretty terrible things. Despite her being a sort of terrible person, I loved her so much. I haven’t come across a character so deeply flawed yet lovable in such a long time - if ever to this extent. Especially as she recounts these moments, it’s understandable why she hurt this person, how it affected her later, and why she does or doesn’t feel remorse for it. She was also such a witty character, and getting to hear her thoughts was extremely entertaining. I feel like this book would make an excellent movie!

Odie’s murderer was a bit obvious to me, but that didn’t really bother me. The story isn’t really about trying to figure out who Odie’s murderer was - more so about the life she lived and what led her to being murdered.

There were a couple things that did disappoint me, though. The first thing that disappointed me was Carl’s chapter. It was a lot of telling rather than showing and I just didn’t really care about Carl enough to want to read about his life. Him and Odie had what felt like insta-love, and I don’t enjoy reading about that. I felt like I was forced to like him and pity him, but I just didn’t. The second part I didn’t enjoy was the whole “Big Upset” that happened with Uncle Boo. So… he did take photos of little girls and touch them a lot but it wasn’t ever sexual and was just because he wanted a daughter of his own? I’m sorry it’s still creepy - you can want a daughter and not be so secretive about the photos you take of children. Like, why was he hiding the computer so much? What was he doing with these photos? And why was Odie’s dad so okay with it? He left his family to stay by his friend’s side, which sure is admirable but 100% not the right decision and he’s a giant asshole. I think Uncle Boo and Odie’s dad were meant to have some redemption, but it didn’t land for me.

I thought this book was going to be one of the easiest five stars I’ve ever given, but a few events at the end slightly disappointed me and made me bump it down to four. However, I still 100% recommend this read to everyone! It’s so good and will keep you turning and turning the page till you hit The End.

P.S. The storyline with Cora was my favorite out of all the other ones. If you’ve read this book I’m curious which storyline you enjoyed the most.

Original review:

by NetGalley review

I enjoyed this ramble through the high and lowlights of Odie May's life and death. She is forced to confront her past when she is suddenly and violently killed on her way to meet her lover.

It's very hard to like Odie May, but she is entertaining. She is also complex. As her 'Initial Contact' Carl takes her back over events in her life, some of them life defining, she has to face up to her covetous nature and her disregard for other people's feelings. Little pieces of Carl's life are also revealed.

At times I was sorry for Odie. At others I was angry with her, but one thing I never felt was bored by her.

A thoroughly entertaining story.

Original review:

by NetGalley review

Really enjoyed this book. Reminiscent of Eleanor Oliphant but more rounded and thorough and I really got her. Great.

Original review:

by NetGalley review

I absolutely loved this book, Odie is a flawed character, at times unlikeable, definitely very selfish, but you still find yourself rooting for her to do better and ultimately you fly through the book wanting to know her outcome, so be prepared to set some time aside once you start this book.

Original review:

by NetGalley review

Claire Dyer

Claire Dyer's poetry collections are published by Two Rivers Press, her novels by Quercus and The Dome Press. Her novel, 'The Significant Others of Odie May' is out now. She curates Reading's Poets' Cafe, teaches creative writing and runs Fresh Eyes, an editorial and critiquing service. She has an MA in Creative Writing from Royal Holloway, University of London and is a regular contributor on BBC Radio Berkshire.

Claire Dyer
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