Title: Come In and Cover Me
Author: Gin Phillips
Release Date: January 12, 2012
Genre: Literary Fiction
Rating: 4 out of 5
Ren’s brother, Scott, died when she was just twelve years old, but she has seen his ghost ever since. Now, an archaeologist, Ren uses her gift in order to uncover secrets of history. She is called to a dig site where she begins to see the ghosts of two Mimbres women and tries to understand their message before it is too late.
Come In and Cover Me is an interesting mix of a personal journey, an archaeological history, and a love story. Phillips brings these threads together well; each feeds into the other, contributing to Ren’s personal growth and her healing. Ren has never recovered from Scott’s death and its aftermath. Her father is dead, and she barely has contact with her mother. This has damaged Ren more than she knows, to the point where she has trouble even mentioning the fact that Scott once existed. Through the archaeology and the unexpected relationship she finds, Ren begins a path to healing.
Ren is a frustrating character at times. She seems to be cold and unfeeling, consumed by work with little thought devoted to her personal life, which is unfair for the men in her life. It’s understandable why every relationship she’s ever had has failed. But Phillips does an excellent job filling in Ren’s history through flashbacks to her life before Scott’s death, and what happened after he passed. It really fleshes out Ren’s character and helps the reader to understand why she is so closed off to everyone. It helps to make Ren a sympathetic, accessible character; otherwise, she would likely be too difficult for readers, as she keeps them at arms length throughout the book.
The archaeology in Come in and Cover Me is really the highlight of the book. It’s very interesting to learn about Ren’s profession, and the information about Mimbres history and culture was fascinating. I hadn’t heard of the Mimbres at all prior to starting this novel, so it was gratifying to be able to learn while reading.
This is a unique novel, and it’s unclear exactly what box it fits into. Instead, it consists of many different genres and molds, with multiple themes running through it. It succeeds in showing Ren’s healing process, but the relationship in it leaves something to be desired. Still, Come In and Cover Me is an interesting novel that I recommend if you’re looking for an introspective, slightly disconnected read.