Title: Funeral with a View
Author: Matt Schiariti
Published: September 28th, 2014
Word Count: 101,000
Content Warning: Mild sexual content, minor profanity and adult themes
Age Recommendation: 18+
~ Synopsis ~ Thirty-two-year-old Richard Franchitti didn’t believe in love at first sight until he met free-spirited Catherine and started a brand new life. A devoted father and husband, Richard fought to keep his family together when it would have been easier to walk away.
Tragedy left him with unfinished business.
Now a disembodied spirit, Richard relives his most important days. From the beginnings of unconditional love, to the joy of his daughter’s birth, and all of the difficult times in between, each treasured moment brings him closer to answering the question:
“Why am I still here?”
He was born Richard Franchitti, but his friends call him Ricky. Welcome to his funeral.
About the Author
Matt lives in southern New Jersey with his wife, two children, and insane dog. Funeral with a View is his second published novel, but not his last.
You have been warned.
While they were dating.
That tidbit must sound inherently evil. There are rules, especially among guys. The Man Code, to be more specific. Every male on the planet is born with these rules branded into his DNA. Don’t date a friend’s ex, don’t have sex with a friend’s girlfriend, so on and so forth.
Let the record show that I am no home wrecker! Bill and Catherine had been seeing each other when I met her. Nothing serious, and for reasons only known to them, their relationship didn’t last. After Bill did the requisite guy thing (read: talked post-breakup smack about her), I did the right thing and asked him if he’d be okay with me asking her out.
The conversation went something like this:
Me: So, you’re not dating Cat anymore, huh?
Me: Um, would it be cool if I asked her out?
Bill: Yeah, sure.
It was a conversation for the ages. A manly conversation of epic proportions. It may seem flimsy to an outsider, but to guys it was volumes’ worth.
I let the breakup embers fade, and a few weeks later, when I’d mustered up the testicular fortitude, I asked Catherine out. After a moment’s thought, she said yes. And the rest, as they say, is history.
Dating Catherine put no apparent stress on my relationship with Bill. Good looking in an All-American way, he never lacked for female companionship. At six-foot-five and almost as broad, he towered over my meager five-foot-eight. He’d played football in high school and college, earning an athletic scholarship to Princeton University, but blew out his knee in his second year. His spare time no longer filled with practices and games, he hunkered down and focused on his studies which paved the way to his future career as a financial advisor. Still, he remained an ever faithful workout freak. The combination of good looks, muscular build, and his large salary lured many a willing woman into his bed. Catherine was no exception, but that wasn’t entirely Bill’s doing.
The story is a simple one. Back in the day the three of us were nigh inseparable. Catherine and I were always double-dating with Bill and his love du jour. Even if he wasn’t seeing anybody (the exception to the rule), the three of us would go out to eat, see movies, hang out on lawn chairs in the summer drinking concoctions with little umbrellas in them.
It was on one such occasion when things took a change for the pornographic. I’ll never forget that day as long as I live. Or as long as I’m dead.
That day is where this story truly starts.
This book broke me. B-R-O-K-E. It's so well put together, the story flows smoothly, and the characters grab on to your heart and refuse to let go. There were times when I laughed out loud, and a LOT of times where I was a puddle of tears. It's a whole different take on the loss of a loved one, told from said loved one's point of view. It was easy to get lost in Ricky's memories with him, to feel the joy as well as the hurt and betrayal. My favorite character, other than sweet little Celeste, is Mr. Jameson. I'm not sure why, I just love him!
Wonderful story, this is going on my top 10 of 2014! Congratulations to Mr. Schiariti for making me blubber like a baby!
Bob says: 5 Platypires!
While it would be easy to say that Funeral With a View is, on the surface, a ghost story, it is so much more than that. It goes a lot deeper because it is ultimately about the relationships between individuals. I found that I was drawn into the story from the prelude. Funeral With a View is written well, and the flow of the story maintains its pace. With all those things being true, what really stood out in my mind were the characters.
I liked Rick Franchitti, and through the novel, it was apparent he loved Cat, his wife. As with any relationship, there were times when they faced conflict and struggle in their marriage, and there were times when they had to deal with tragedy. Through it all, I got the sense that both of them were real characters, and I could empathize with both of them at various points of the story and found them to be very much three-dimensional. I loved Celeste, their daughter. She was so cute, and perceptive as well.
Two of the secondary characters that became my favorites were Beth, Rick's mom. Both she and the Colonel, Cat's father, were sources of humor in the story. Beth, for her interactions with her partner Glen, and The Colonel with some of his dialogue when he was talking to Rick. Another reason Beth stood out was because she was there to offer motherly advice when Rick needed it the most. I also liked Jude, Cat's older sister.
This book, while it definitely did have its sad moments, was one I really liked. My rating is 5/5 platypires.
When the person over the blog that I submit my reviews to ask me to review this book, I was like...ugh it's kinda paranormal isn't it? I don't do anything paranormal, ever. I read Twlight, but that is as much as paranormal as I ever got. Jude was like, noooo, not really. So, I went into this book with a preconceived notion that I wasn't going to like this book. I read a little bit. oh, great he is a ghost! Ugh!! Well, if you know me (which you probably don't)I do not leave a book unread, especially if someone is counting on me, plus this was going to broaden my genre. So, it's Halloween night, spooky right, good time for a ghost book, I start to really read this book. To my surprise and delight, this is a romance novel, now we are talking. Jude knows how much I love my romance novels, what a good friend!
Funeral With A View by Matt Schiariti proves to me that not only can not judge a book by it's cover but not by it's genre either. This is one of the best love stories. At times, the characters made me want to throw my kindle across the room for being so stupid, and others they were so sweet and loving, I was cooing (no joke). This book goes through Rick's and Cat's relationship, all the ups and downs. From beginning to the end, you travel along as Rick remembers all the important stuff. While he is trying to figure out why he is still here on Earth or in this Realm. (See I don't know the jargon here, so please excuse me.
I loved this book, I wanted to know these characters and be their friends. He brought them to life for me, well almost all of them... heehee. I cried at the end of this book, which surprised me too. It made me teary eyed and I was not prepared for that! I'm now a fan at least of Matt's here, but can't say I can accept the whole genre... it scares me and I have to sleep alone too often!
I give Funeral With a View 5 Platypires
Bama Love!! Roll Tide!! and Keep Reading Y'all
J. Hooligan's Review
I've been waiting for this blasted thing for a year. Okay, over a year. I was part of both the beta and ARC teams, but I always prefer to read the final version of a book - so I know how it ends up.
I loved it a year ago, and I love it even more now. Matt Schiariti is one of my favorite authors for good reason. His stuff is hilarious, but not in a cheesy way, and it has enough drama to keep you glued to it.
WARNING: This book has feels. Strong ones. I cried. I also got upset with some characters, and I wanted to kick a couple in the butt. They know what they did!
This is a fabulous book and was well worth the wait.