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Everyone in This Room Will Someday Be Dead

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Gilda, a twenty-something lesbian, cannot stop ruminating about death. Desperate for relief from her panicky mind and alienated from her repressive family, she responds to a flyer for free therapy at a local Catholic church, and finds herself being greeted by Father Jeff, who assumes she’s there for a job interview. Too embarrassed to correct him, Gilda is abruptly hired to replace the recently deceased receptionist Grace.

In between trying to memorize the lines to Catholic mass, hiding the fact that she has a new girlfriend, and erecting a dirty dish tower in her crumbling apartment, Gilda strikes up an email correspondence with Grace’s old friend. She can’t bear to ignore the kindly old woman, who has been trying to reach her friend through the church inbox, but she also can’t bring herself to break the bad news. Desperate, she begins impersonating Grace via email. But when the police discover suspicious circumstances surrounding Grace’s death, Gilda may have to finally reveal the truth of her mortifying existence.

256 pages, Hardcover

First published July 6, 2021

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About the author

Emily R. Austin

4 books1,113 followers
Emily Austin is the author of EVERYONE IN THIS ROOM WILL SOMEDAY BE DEAD, INTERESTING FACTS ABOUT SPACE, and GAY GIRL PRAYERS. She currently resides in Ottawa/the territory of the Anishinaabe Algonquin Nation.

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5 stars
14,334 (29%)
4 stars
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3 stars
11,835 (24%)
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Displaying 1 - 30 of 8,870 reviews
Profile Image for Kat.
270 reviews80k followers
November 9, 2021
the grasp that emily austin has on what it is like to be a human being who feels alone, even when surrounded by other people; what it is like to care about others far more than you care about yourself; what it is like to be in limbo, waiting for things to make sense, but getting stuck in a cursed spiral of thinking and loving and existing???? unparalleled. this book had me in the most warm, comforting, validating chokehold. i think you should probably read it before you die :0
Profile Image for emma.
1,868 reviews54.4k followers
January 22, 2023
It's not easy being me.

Cookies are my favorite food, and yet I am extremely picky about them. I'm a Phoebe Bridgers fan. I am the dreaded rarity that is a blonde adult.

And I hate writing positive reviews.

In some ways, I make this easier for myself, due to the fact that I am so critical, hateful, and generally unpleasant that it happens as infrequently as possible.

But this is a double-edged sword, because I also have no reason to ever attempt to hone or even improve this skill.

Here we find ourselves. I have to write at length (because if I'm one thing besides difficult, it's verbose) about a perfect book.

This is a nightmare situation for me.

And even worse: THIS BOOK MADE ME CRY. A lot! Lately I've been tearing up at endings a lot, probably due to some hormonal imbalance or debilitating illness and definitely not emotion (I don't have those). But this was not a glamorous single tear sliding down my cheek.

This was a full-on ugly cry. From me. I only cry twice a year: at my annual rewatch of About Time, and when I am somehow held down or arrested and unable to prevent myself from listening to the song The Luckiest / watching an animal video / thinking too hard about a nice tweet I saw four months ago.

How do I write about THAT.

This is my favorite kind of story, one about how hard it can be to be alive in an on-fire world with a semi nonfunctioning brain, but also about how beautiful life is, how wonderful people are. This book is very funny, and very sad, and above all so lovely.

I don't know what to say beyond that.

Can't the five stars speak for themselves???

Bottom line: I will never get better at being nice. But this book deserves me to be.


i am ashamed to admit this, but:

i am sobbing right now.

review to come / 5 stars

currently-reading updates

this book is about me (girl in therapy and being weird about it)

tbr review

when i see a title like that, all i can do is hit that want to read button
Profile Image for MarilynW.
1,198 reviews3,035 followers
July 5, 2021
Everyone in This Room Will Someday Be Dead by Emily R. Austin

I can't say I liked or enjoyed this book. It is so overwhelmingly depressing, so many people are depressed, and there doesn't seem to be any help for these depressed people, that I too lost the will to go on. At the same time, I felt compassion for all the people we meet. I wanted things to be better for them but then, that's part of the problem of the main character. She seems to think her life might have a scrap of worth if she can only make people smile. 

Twenty seven year old animal loving Gilda is also a lesbian and an atheist. She is so depressed that she can't even put her dishes in the sink so she just piles them up in her bedroom, a leaning tower of food rot. She can't remember when she has showered and she loses her latest job because she forgets to go to work. Or was it because she forgot to get out of bed. Whatever. All she can think about is death and she see no reason to exist for herself or anyone else. Nothing matters and she can't even pretend to care. She longs for the day when maggots will eat her rotting flesh. 

One day, as Gilda trudges toward a Catholic church that advertises therapy sessions, she accidently gets hired for a job there. Now she is an atheist, lesbian, liar because she has to pretend she's not gay and that she is Catholic and that she knows what she is doing. Maybe it's fitting though that the elderly lady who previously had her job is dead and might have been murdered. That's life, make it to old age and you suffer the indignity of being maybe murdered. 

So I'm reading this story and feel like it's not good for me to be reading this story but every now and then, I really, truly laughed out loud! It felt good but the rest of the book's sad state makes it hard to remember why I laughed. I almost gave the story 3 stars because it seems weird to give it 4 stars when it made me feel so bad. Still, it appears there is hope at the end of the story but I can't be sure. Is it an illusion?

Publication: July 6th 2021

Thank you to Atria Books and NetGalley for this ARC.
Profile Image for kyle.
156 reviews37 followers
October 10, 2021
exact opposite of escapism. reading this book was like living in my head intensified
Profile Image for cameron.
146 reviews744 followers
December 22, 2021
ouchie- this book. oh my god this book. it’s so me you guys; which is probably a bad thing but either way it’s nice to see yourself reflected on page knowing you aren’t the only one. so so beautiful and so so real. to struggle with existence is something that can be so isolating and this book perfectly captures that. if you like a little life definitely check this one out, ( i promise it’s not as devastating )
Profile Image for Sunny.
698 reviews3,684 followers
September 13, 2021
dude I don’t know… this hit me in the feels the way Eleanor Olliphant is completely fine did except I feel like it’s even more realistic in its portrayal of mental illness and loneliness. I want to give a copy of this book to all of my lgbtq friends who I know are anxious
Profile Image for che.
114 reviews392 followers
July 2, 2022
representation for the girls who went to the emergency room for “chest pains”.
Profile Image for Christine.
596 reviews1,183 followers
July 24, 2021
2.5 stars rounded to 3 stars

Well, this one kind of missed the mark for me. It is good, but not great. Gilda is a 28-year-old atheist lesbian who is fixated on death. Really fixated. She thinks about it almost nonstop. Her situation is complicated by her chronic anxiety, depression, and hypochondriasis, which land her in the local ER so often that she is essentially a celebrity there, even to the janitor. Her family is of no help. Furthermore, somehow she has never received any significant psychological help for her issues.

Gilda falls into a job as a receptionist for a Catholic Church. See her nonqualifications above. There is a little mystery here in that the 86-year-old woman she is replacing had a “suspicious” death. Who killed poor Grace?
Other positives include the fact that the story is easy to read and moves quickly. There are also sweet side tales involving animals, and interspersed throughout the story are some really warm moments. I also love the title and the cover of this one.

IMHO, however, Gilda, though having the most “airtime” in this novel, is underdeveloped. We hear her strange thoughts and see her strange actions, but never really get to know her all that well. The supporting characters are a mixed bag. I liked Jeff the priest and Eleanor, Gilda’s girlfriend, but the rest are pretty forgettable. Actually, I won’t remember any of the characters except maybe for Gilda. Maybe.

There’s a bit of humor here—not LOL humor, but smile humor. I liked that. But considering the subject matter most of the story is treated on too light a level for me and is just plain sad. There is a lot of stream of consciousness going on, especially towards the end where it was actually kind of anxiety-provoking (as opposed to suspenseful) for me. I ended up skimming a bit, which I never do, especially in the last 10% of a book. The ending had some positivity to it, but gosh, poor Gilda.

I recently read another book about mental illness and suicide called Together We Will Go. That one is more thought -provoking and has much better characterization. It left a considerable impact on me and is one of the three best books I’ve read this year.

Overall, the story wasn’t what I thought it would be, meaning it really wasn’t what I signed up for, so I was disappointed. Don’t mind me though as its total ratings so far average higher than 4 stars. So read those positive reviews before rejecting this one based on my review. I’m the outlier here.

Many thanks to Net Galley, Isabel DaSilva of Atria Books, and Ms. Emily Austin for offering me an ARC. Opinions stated as mine alone and are not biased in any way.
Profile Image for Carolyn Walsh .
1,541 reviews595 followers
September 16, 2021
4.5 stars rounded up to 5
This book takes the reader into the turbulent mind of a 26-year-old woman named Gilda. We learn of her thoughts, her difficult interactions with others, her conversations, and her behavior. She lost her job because she frequently slept in and missed her shifts or the effort of getting up was more than she could manage. Dirty dishes pile up as she can't be bothered to clean her apartment. Gilda cannot stop obsessing about death. She worries about nuclear bombs, racism, war, rape, child abuse, disease, climate change, among many other things. She loves animals and searches for a missing cat that she fears may have died when a neighbor's home burned down. Her thoughts are often on her pet rabbit that died when she was 11.

Gilda is depressed, frequently suffers from anxiety and panic attacks making her believe she is having a fatal heart attack. She visits the hospital ER so often in an elevated state of anxiety or with some minor injury that the workers all know her by name. She has not followed up on psychiatric referrals but realizes that emotionally and mentally she is in a bad state and in need of help. Sometimes she is in a disassociative state where she feels she is floating and observing herself below and there are memory gaps. Gilda's state was one of continuous upheaval, but the book was filled with good humor.

One day she sees a leaflet offering free counseling. Going to the address, she finds it takes place inside a Catholic Church. She works up the courage to enter hoping to get the help she needs and meets Father Jeff. He assumes she is there for a new job that has opened up at their front desk. All the applicants have been elderly and he likes the idea that Gilda is young and can use a computer. She does not want to embarrass the priest by telling him he has made a mistake and leaves with a new job.
She is reluctant to reveal to anyone at the church that she is an atheist and a lesbian.

Her elderly predecessor, Grace, had died. She starts her office work by checking out the long-neglected e-mails on the desk computer. She finds a lot of personal, friendly e-mails from a woman named Rose to Grace. Not wanting to hurt Rose's feelings by revealing that Grace has died, she answers the messages using Grace's name and they carry out a pleasant correspondence. Gilda is estranged from her parents and alcoholic brother. She busies herself learning the Catholic rituals so that people will not know she is there under pretense.

Gilda forgets or neglects to respond to messages from her girlfriend so there is a disruption in their friendship and partnership. A parishioner has set her up with dates with a very persistent man and she runs out of excuses. She reluctantly goes out with him, much to her annoyance. Her work is proceeding satisfactorily, but then a problem arises. It is believed that a nurse killed a number of elderly people including Grace. There is a police investigation. Gilda is suspicious of some of the church workers, but the police suspect Gilda of being involved in the death because of her e-mails using Grace's name.
This was an outrageously humorous story, and even knowing Gilda's personal mental state and problems, I could not stop laughing throughout the book. I worried that this must have made me a bad person to find so much of the story, the narration, and the events hilarious. This would have been a 5-star book for me except for a rather lackluster but satisfactory conclusion. I found this a very enjoyable read.
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
Profile Image for Barbara**catching up!.
1,394 reviews804 followers
November 25, 2022
Author Emily Austin amazingly got into the head of a quirky and delightful, yet depressed and anxious, Gilda. In doing so, Austin provides the reader with a birds-eye-view of what it is like to be anxious and depressed. Our traumatized heroine gets herself into so many jams and oddball situations, that it’s impossible not to smile and chuckle. Yet Gilda is suffering through mental health issues which are not funny. How to get a reader to be more empathetic towards those who suffer from debilitating anxiety and depression? Write an entertaining novel that allows the reader to understand the thoughts and observations of those afflicted. But aren’t we all a bit afflicted??

Our scrappy protagonist, Gilda, is 20-something and unemployed when the story opens. After she sees that there are free mental health services provided at the local Catholic Church, she seeks help. Once there, she is misidentified as a job interviewer. Grace, the last receptionist, died. The priest, Father Jeff, is overwhelmed now that Grace has died, and he needs a receptionist fast. In the funniest job interview ever, Gilda lands the job.

A little background, Gilda is a lesbian (Catholics aren’t welcoming to the gay/queer community), and she is NOT Catholic, in fact she’s a proud atheist. She spends some effort trying to blend in and seem straight and catholic. She spends more time ruminating on death…hers and everyone else’s. She flounders attempting to learn the Catholic Church rituals. There are awkward moments and interesting observations. One of my favorite lines: “I’m starting to doubt my atheism because this might be proof that God exists and hates me.”

Because of her death obsession, Gilda frequents the emergency room with varying diseases and symptoms that lead to death. She’s there so often, the janitor knows her by name.

Gilda even suspects her girlfriend Eleanor of trying to steal her identity when they first meet. Eleanor asks her questions about Gilda, and Gilda become suspicious that these are phishing questions. Gilda’s mind is one entertaining monologue.

Gilda is preoccupied with the meaningless of our existence. We are just a bag of bones encased in skin. We are temporary. A passage:

“It’s easy for me to accept that I am bacteria, or a parasite, or cancer. It’s easy for me to accept that my life is trivial and that I am a speck of dust. It is hard for me to accept that for the people around me, however…..I feel simultaneously intensely insignificant and hyperaware of how important everyone is.”

When Gilda impersonates Grace, the former receptionist, in an email to Grace’s friend Rosemary, Gilda’s troubles increase. But Gilda just doesn’t want Rosemary to be sad that Grace is dead, so she maintains the mirage that Grace is alive and well. When it appears that foul play may have been a part of Grace’s demise, Grace gets arrested and her troubles intensifies.

This funny and quirky story has unexpected philosophical moments that causes the reader to pause. I enjoyed what author Emily Austin achieved: writing an engrossing and entertaining story about a subject that is taboo and ignored: mental illness. Ever wonder what occupies the mind of an anxious and depressed person, and not become depressed yourself? Read this book! Gilda is more relatable than one can imagine.

Profile Image for Cheri.
1,796 reviews2,389 followers
July 6, 2021

This story begins with Gilda in her car, the light is green, she isn’t moving, but it takes her a moment before she can recall what just happened. Hit from behind by a minivan, her airbag not only deploys giving her a punch, but the hot coffee that was once in her thermos is now covering her.

Gilda is more than a little obsessed with death, ever since her pet rabbit died when she was ten years old, and she was the one to find her lifeless, her eyes wide open. She lives in an almost constant state of anxiety, and spends more time at the hospital than more people, always seeking a cure for something, and her anxiety continues to plague her. She is there so often, the staff seems to know her by name. She loses her job at a bookstore, and her anxiety grows even more. Finding a flyer offering free therapy, she ends up at a Catholic Church, and when the first thing she is asked is if she is there to apply for a position for a receptionist that’s recently opened up, she doesn’t hesitate to say yes. The former receptionist, she is informed, has recently passed away. She isn’t asked if she is gay or considers herself an atheist, so she doesn’t volunteer that information. Not even when a stranger insists on setting her up with a relative, and when he texts and calls her repeatedly, she eventually runs out of excuses and goes on dates with him.

There’s an essence of how Gilda processes information and views life that reminded me of Eleanor Oliphant, that blend of quirkiness alongside a sprinkling of dark humour in this story, a young woman who seems without the social graces required to blend in. Gilda is odd and a little off-center, and doesn’t seem to ‘blend in,’ not that she’s ever known others to take the time to understand her. Even her parents don’t seem to care enough to actually listen to her, still focused on the time she did this or that when she was too young to know better.

Add to this a cat that goes missing when the house on her street catches on fire, which she becomes a bit obsessed finding and rescuing, along with a brother who struggles with controlling his substance abuse, it seems the only time she feels accepted is when she’s pretending to be the former, now deceased receptionist, responding to that woman’s friend’s emails.

All of this evolves into a somewhat farcical, entertaining story with some laughable situations along with a few lovable characters, and an ending I didn’t see coming, but smiled when it arrived.

Published: 06 Jul 2021

Many thanks for the ARC provided by Atria Books
Profile Image for Anna Avian.
472 reviews64 followers
July 9, 2021
Depressing, mundane and chaotic. All of the characters were one dimensional and very dull. It just went aimlessly on and on until it got tiresome. What was the point of this story anyways?
Profile Image for Zoe.
127 reviews920 followers
July 23, 2022
BEING ALIVE IS REALLY HARD and it’s even harder when no one around you (seems to) feel the same. gilda gets it and i love her sm ❤️‍🩹
Profile Image for elio.
134 reviews920 followers
January 5, 2022
this was the most relatable book i have ever read and i should be concerned about that realization
Profile Image for Jorie.
334 reviews69 followers
May 15, 2023
This book is a snowball of mundane things, everyday misunderstandings, and small cruelties that add and add until it is nearly impossible not to see some sort of reflection of your own life in it. That this was able to do so much - make me feel this much - in such a limited amount of pages is a fantastic accomplishment. Just amazing.
Profile Image for Jennifer ~ TarHeelReader.
2,182 reviews30.5k followers
July 10, 2021
That title grabbed my attention. Everyone in This Room Will Someday Be Dead is the story of Gilda, who worries nonstop about death. She finds a place offering free therapy at a Catholic church, and she is immediately hired as a receptionist, a job for which she did not apply. She’s also not religious, and some religious duties come along with the job. Did I mention the receptionist she is replacing recently passed away?

An old friend of that receptionist emails Gilda, who doesn’t have the heart to tell her that Grace, the former receptionist, is deceased. This ruse she puts on, while well-meaning, could get Gilda into trouble, as the correspondence continues.

Gilda loves animals, which I could completely relate to, and while she’s not perfect and has so much going on, she feels authentic and absolutely sympathetic because she has a heart of gold. The humor bits made me smile and laugh, even if dark at times. I found this portrayal an honest one, and while it may have been hard to read at times, it tackles some meaty issues surrounding mental health. I also loved the style of writing by the author. In the right hands, I think this is gem of a read, especially if you connect to characters like I did.

I received a gifted copy.

Many of my reviews can also be found on my blog: www.jennifertarheelreader.com and instagram: www.instagram.com/tarheelreader
Profile Image for Kerrin .
304 reviews227 followers
July 6, 2021
Now Available
This story is told in the first person by Gilda, a gay 27-year-old atheist with depression and anxiety. She can't keep a job, lies to make other people happy, and is obsessed with death. She goes to the ER so much she is on first-name terms with the janitor. Her parents are in denial about her brother's alcoholism.

The main plot is that Gilda goes to an address on a flyer for mental health support. It turns out to be a Catholic church. The priest assumes she is there for a job interview and hires her on the spot because she knows how to use the internet. The previous secretary had recently died under suspicious circumstances. Gilda must pretend to be a devout Catholic in order to keep the job she so desperately needs. Through a series of odd behaviors, Gilda becomes a suspect in the death of the former secretary who she never met.

The paragraphs are written as short train-of-thoughts that randomly occur to Gilda. Her anxiety is palpable. Instead of being humorous, the story came off as bleak and heartbreaking. I just wasn't the right audience for this type of novel.

2.5 stars rounded up to 3.

Thank you to Atria Books for my advanced reader copy!!!
Profile Image for maddie.
101 reviews12 followers
September 13, 2022
This book is a new all-time FAVOURITE.
Following Gilda's perspective throughout this novel was a delight. I fell in love with her. I LOVE HER.
Gilda's fixation on death is incorporated seamlessly into the narrative, harshly grounding her story in reality. This effectively contrasts the out-of-body feeling that Gilda experiences at many points throughout the novel. As her state of mind flip-flops around, so does her perception of events. Times shifts and warps around her and big chunks of her memory begin to disappear. Her voice was so sharp and memorable, now carved into my brain forever.
A big part of this story is mental illness; Gilda suffers with extreme anxiety as well as depression and dissociation (undiagnosed on-page). For me, this novel depicted living with these (untreated) conditions beautifully. Austin gave Gilda her very own "anxiety/depression voice" that ran alongside her own thoughts. Gilda's rational, witty internal monologue battling her intrusive thoughts/intense worries constantly. I think this would make her narration of the story quite taxing to get through, where it not for the...
IMPECCABLE PACING! The reader is thrust from scene to scene, rushing to try and keep up with Gilda. We are inside her head, flitting from person to place, trying desperately to stay present and aware while feeling utterly hopeless. Austin's use of skittish, start-stop and sometimes breakneck pacing was sublime and communicated such vital parts of Gilda's character with no words wasted. It also made this book read (and feel?) like a thriller.
This story was so incredibly readable, it had so much momentum and intrigue. I loved the sprinkling of gayness and the depictions of intense love. Gilda's wit made me cackle heartily and often, and when she was ignored or dismissed or not appreciated I cried buckets for her.
I love you Gilda, be my wife.

Thank you ever so much to the publisher for this wonderful e-arc!!

Trigger Warnings: intrusive thoughts (graphic), suicidal thoughts and attempts, death of a pet (on page), homophobia, self harm, suicide (off page, relatively unexplored side character).

more reviews on www.cosyqueer.co.uk !
Profile Image for Theresa Alan.
Author 10 books1,043 followers
February 25, 2021
I thought by the title and the cheery cover this would be funnier than it turned out to be. I was expecting dark humor, but this is mostly just dark. Depressing. Bleak. Lots of characters in this novel have mental health and substance abuse issues. Gilda herself is so depressed she stopped going to work, thus losing her job, so when she’s nearly broke and stumbles upon a job opening at a Catholic church, she pretends to be a good Catholic instead of the Atheist lesbian that she is. Despite being so depressed she can’t wash a single dish, she manages to date a woman, and, when a parishioner sets her up with her male family member, Gilda initially puts off going on a date, but she ultimately goes out several times with a man she doesn’t like at all, even if she were straight.

There were a few funny moments of fish-out-of-water humor as Gilda tries to understand the rules of the Catholic religion. Reading the Bible she thinks: “I can’t help noting the use of the male pronouns. I wonder whether this directive applies to me. Am I subject to a womanly loophole? Whoever wrote this book prioritized men so much, he forgot about the other half of humanity. ‘If a man lies with a man as one lies with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination. They must be put to death.’ . . . I’m disappointed God is so homophobic he forgot about lesbians, but I guess I would rather be forgotten than put to death.”

Thanks to NetGalley for the opportunity to review this novel, which RELEASES JULY 6, 2021.

Profile Image for luce (that loser crying on the n° 2 bus).
1,437 reviews4,047 followers
August 27, 2021
| | blog | tumblr | ko-fi | |

2 ½ stars (rounded up to 3)

Sadly Everyone in This Room Will Someday be Dead doesn't bring anything new to the directionless-young-woman-spends-all-her-time-navel-gazing-under-the-torpor-of-ennui subgenre. At times, Austin's brand of cringe comedy tried too hard to be cringey, so much so that I ended up not buying into a certain scene or character.
Gilda, a recently unemployed twenty-something lesbian, is obsessed with death. Her preoccupation with death is such that she thinks of it all the time. For instance, when sitting on a chair she wonders whether the people who sat on it before are dead. She envisions terrible scenarios, in which she or someone else dies. At times she suffers from panic attacks which lead her to make frequent visits to her hospital. No one seems to notice how disconnected Gilda is from her everyday life. As with all the other alienated millennial women populating these novels, Gilda seems unable to perform even the most basic of tasks. She's too depressed to wash herself or the dishes, she often forgets to reply to her maybe girlfriend and seems painfully unaware of the world around her. She has many surreal conversations with others, who often seem blind to Gilda's depression and anxiety.
Gilda unintentionally lands herself a job as a receptionist at Catholic church where she discovers that her predecessor died. Gilda, being death-obsessed, tries to learn more about this woman.

This novel cemented my dislike for 1st person present tense narratives. Every seemingly mundane action Gilda makes has to be mentioned, so that we have many lines such as these: I drink, I get up, I put the cup on the counter, I move my hand, I walk, I sit, I blink, I look down/up.
The way the story is presented on the page also really grated me. On one page there could be three separate paragraphs, each one focusing on a different conversation/moment of Gilda's life. We then end up with one simple dialogue, say between Gilda and that Giuseppe guy, dragging on for pages, and being interrupted by Gilda's conversations with the people from the church or her family. I just found this style choppy and artificial, better suited to a tv show than a book.
Speaking of tv shows, this novel tries really hard to be something in the realms of Fleabag, but whereas that show does a fantastic job in making absurd conversations or OTT characters seem believable, here, I just did not buy into what I was reading. For instance, that whole Giuseppe thing was just unnecessary. The guy is the classic fitness-crazed wannabe guru that is a dime a dozen on YouTube and social media. And he speaks in this very contrived way, 24/7. Austin's character lacked nuance, finesse, whatever you wanted it to call it. Giuseppe could have been funny but Austin is too heavy-handed, and the result is an unfunny caricature. Gilda's parents are also painfully one-dimensional. They get barely any page-time and even when they appeared they remained amorphous. Gilda's mother is relegated to the role of mom, and her father is just a generic dad. The scenes they were included in were just there to show how unfair they are to Gilda. While I could believe that some parents would wrongly blame one child instead of the actual guilty child, the way this played out here was just incredibly unrealistic (I am talking about that 'get out' scene). It was so unbelievable that it really pulled me out of the story. The maybe girlfriend is just as generic as Gilda's parents. She makes very few if any appearances and mostly sends texts to our mc asking what she's up to or whatnot.
A character that had the potential was Gilda's brother, but, ultimately I didn't like how the story handles him (how delusional is Gilda to think that leaving him a message like that could magically cure his alcoholism and, as Giuseppe would say, 'live his truth').
The people at the church where Gilda works were uninteresting. They are old and think that the internet is a magical and mysterious place. Because they are old you see. Old people don't know anything about the internet as Austin reminds us so many times.
Gilda herself was just exhausting and I cared little for her. She overanalysis everything around her, and while at times her observations could amusing or feel authentic, for the most part, it was just boring being in her head (for instance when she goes on about she's had her hands for her whole life and that they fed her everything she has ever eaten so far). Rather incongruously the author seemed to be rying to make Gilda ultra-relatable by making her think or say these trivial things while at the same time emphasizing how different Gilda is from those around her.
The setting of this story is so generic that I could not tell you where it takes place. America? Canada? Australia? Maybe this was mentioned once somewhere in the novel but the author doesn't really depict Gilda's environment. A counterargument to this could be that Gilda is too wrapped up in her own head to observe her surroundings, but, what about My Year of Rest and Relaxation? The narrator there is decidedly inward-looking and spends most of the book in the confines of her apartment and yet the author there manages to really give us an impression of the place (New York) and time (2000-20001) the story is taking place in.
There were moments now and again that made me smile or that felt particularly spot-on, such as when Gilda gives us a brief rundown of her experience on dating apps. But these genuinely funny were rare.
All in all, I found this novel to be more of a flop than a hit. Maybe I have read too many books that feature aimless alienated women in their twenties but, in comparison to My Year of Rest and Relaxation, Luster, and Pretend I'm Dead, Everyone in This Room Will Someday be Dead is quite forgettable.

ARC provided by NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
Profile Image for Erin Clemence.
1,109 reviews323 followers
June 7, 2021
Special thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for providing a free, electronic ARC of this novel received in exchange for an honest review.

Expected publication date: July 6, 2021

Fans of “Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine” will adore Emily Austin’s debut novel, “Everyone in This Room will Someday be Dead”.

Gilda is a twenty-something atheist lesbian, who struggles with hypochondria, anxiety and depression. She also has an obsession with death; how people die, how she is going to die, how the planet and everyone on it will die. When she inadvertently gets hired as an office assistant in a Catholic church, she definitely founds herself in over her head, as she tries to hide her sexuality and her religion from the congregation and from the priest, Jeff. While she is reviewing emails left unanswered by the previous assistant, Gloria, she comes across one from an old friend of Gloria’s, Rosemary, who has not yet been told that Gloria is dead. Unable to break the news herself, Gilda pretends to be Gloria, and the two continue their back and forth communication. When Gloria’s death turns out not to be an accident, Gilda’s strange behaviour and emails with Rosemary make her the prime suspect.

This novel is heartbreaking, hilarious and relatable (sometimes all at once). Gilda is eccentric in every sense of the word, preferring to avoid social interactions and focus on the potentially negative “what ifs” of every situation. Gilda circles between periods of deep depression and anxiety-induced panic attacks, to the point where she is on a first-name basis with the staff at the local hospital. A sad, seemingly naïve character, Gilda is still realistic and charming enough to be someone to root for. Honest and upfront (because she knows no other way) Gilda struggles with forming relationships. There is something about Gilda that everyone can relate to (I promise you I found my kindred spirit in a lot of her behaviours and attitudes about life).

The story is told in four main parts, which each part broken down by Catholic holiday (such as “Advent” and “Lent”), so there are no chapters. But it still is easy reading, as each part is broken down into smaller paragraphs, and I flew through each quickly. Gilda narrates the entire novel, adding a uniqueness to the story’s structure.

There is a slight lull in the middle of the story that I had to push through, but the ending of the novel pulled me right back in. Although it ended the way I expected, I was sad to see the end of Gilda and her adventures. I love the quirky and eccentric characters that are so different from the regular protagonist characters, and Gilda definitely touched my soul. Thanks to this Canadian author for bringing Gilda into my life. I hope to see more of her.
Profile Image for Coco Day.
123 reviews2,542 followers
April 3, 2023

honestly though, is there any meaning to life?? gilda i relate to you!!

loved the writing style, quite funny and enjoyed the ending :))
Profile Image for Katie B.
1,350 reviews3,005 followers
June 23, 2021
I finished this book a few days ago and since then I have tried to pinpoint why I didn't connect more with the character and story. I thought for sure when I picked this book up it would be right up my alley as and I would be able to relate to the main character's struggles with anxiety issues. Unfortunately, I just didn't understand her.

Gilda is a twenty-something lesbian and she thinks about death quite often. She's a frequent visitor to the ER as well. Due to a misunderstanding she is too embarrassed to correct, she accepts a job working as a receptionist at a Catholic church. Gilda's life is full of one mishap after another.

There's a quirky type vibe to the story and there are some moments that are generally funny. I found it lacking in heart though. Gilda is a character I spent the entire book following but yet can't say I know her much better now than when I first started reading the story. It's fair to say I just didn't click with her. And you know what? That's perfectly fine as not every character is going to be an exact match for every reader.

The writing style is unique so I would be open to checking out another book by this author.

Thank you to Atria Books for providing me with an advance copy! All thoughts expressed are my honest opinion.
Profile Image for Rachel.
376 reviews178 followers
May 25, 2022
I sit, a martyr for this child’s happiness, while she draws with a red permanent marker all over my new cast. She keeps accidentally drawing on my skin and on my clothes.
When she finishes, I ask her what it is she drew, and she tells me it’s a dog. I look down and examine what appears to be a drawing of a penis with eyes, and sigh.

Look, I get it. Nothing really happens for most of this book, it’s basically a character study and about an existential crisis. There are certainly struggles with mental health throughout. The humor is pretty dark, and there is a lot of talk about death.
HOWEVER, I loved it. This was something that just immediately clicked for me and I got lost in it. I found it hilarious and I loved Gilda. I thought she was endearing and relatable and there are some genuinely sweet, moving lines in this book. It’s not all darkness! You just have to work for it to get that sunny side. Anyway, I think this was worth reading, and the writing just really worked for me.
Profile Image for Os Livros da Lena.
169 reviews242 followers
August 8, 2022
Opinião Toda a gente nesta sala um dia há de morrer, de Emily Austin

Tradução de P. Vieira
Revisão de Bruna Duarte

AVISO (feito por mim): Este é um livro que aborda temas como identidade de género, bullying, ansiedade, depressão, alcoolismo, toxicodependência, suicídio, eutanásia e auto-mutilação.

Este é um livro, a meu ver, preocupante. E não pelo que contém.

Embora se trate de um livro muito bem construído, tão bem construído que nos aflige de tão real que é a sua personagem principal, peca por não comunicar o que é.

Na capa colorida e com um lettering divertido, pode ler-se a frase “Hilariante, solidário, exasperante e comovente”, citação da crítica do Library Journal. Na contracapa, pelo Buzzfeed, vemos a frase que o descreve enquanto “O equilíbrio perfeito entre macabro e divertido”.

Ora, à excepção de exasperante e comovente, não consegui identificar-me com nenhum dos outros adjectivos. Esta não é uma leitura leve, pelo contrário, é pesadíssima. Com um discurso na primeira pessoa, assistimos em primeira mão ao que se passa na cabeça e na vida de uma personagem cuja depressão leva a uma situação aguda de desespero, com pensamentos suicidas e sem ferramentas emocionais para pedir ajuda.

Este é um livro que se comunica como “divertido” e leve, quando é de uma violência atroz. Se, por um lado, considero importante que existam narrativas sobre o facto de, muitas vezes, não ser facilmente perceptível um estado destes, para que isso possa, de alguma forma, amenizar a culpa que quem está à volta sente, defendo que estas narrativas não devem ser anunciadas e comunicadas enquanto divertidas e hilariantes.

É um livro que NÃO considero que seja para toda a gente. Levou-me a pensar, como acontece com alguns dos livros que leio, que talvez devesse ser regra o aviso prévio de temas tão sensíveis como estes e a classificação etária nos livros.

Deixo abaixo, como penso que o livro deveria ter, os contactos de apoio, disponíveis em Portugal, para quem possa precisar deles 👇

Linha Jovem - 800 208 020 (Todos os dias das 9 às 18 horas)

Linha LUA
Telef.: 800 208 448 (entre as 20h00 e as 02h00)
website: www.ua.pt/sas/lua
Linha SOS Bullying
Telef.: 808 962 006 [2ª a 6ª f. das 11-12h30 e das 18h30-20h]
e-mail: bulialuno@anprofessores.pt

SOS Estudante – 96 955 45 45 ou 808 200 204 (das 20h à 1h, chamada local)
Apoio emocional e prevenção do suicídio
Telefone da amizade – 228 323 535
Apoio em situações de crise pessoal e suicídio das 16h às 23h

S.O.S. Adolescente - 800 202 484
Conversa Amiga – 808 237 327 (chamada local)
Apoio, orientação e formação. Todos os dias das 15h às 22h

Linha SOS Palavra Amiga -  232 42 42 82
Todos os dias, das 21 à 01 horas;

Centro SOS-Voz Amiga: ajuda na solidão, ansiedade, depressão e risco de suicídio
Telef.: 21 354 45 45 - Diariamente das 16 às 24h
Telef.: 91 280 26 69 - Diariamente das 16 às 24h
Telef.: 96 352 46 60 - Diariamente das 16 às 24h
website: www.sosvozamiga.org
Linha Telefone amigo - 239 72 10 10
Todos os dias, das 17 à 01 hora
Linha Telefone Amizade - 800 205 535
De segunda a quinta, das 16 à 01 hora
Sexta e Sábado, das 19 às 21 horas

Linha Informativa de Informação sobre orientação sexual e identidade de género - 96 878 18 41

Associação ILGA Portugal (Apoio sobre identidade de género)
tlf.:21 887 61 16, Sextas-Feiras, das 21às 24 horas
website: http://www.ilga-portugal.pt/actividad...

Sexualidade em linha – 808 222 003 (chamada local)
Informação e aconselhamento na área da saúde sexual e reprodutiva.
Segunda a sexta das 10h às 19h e sábado das 10h às 17h.
Profile Image for Erik.
331 reviews221 followers
June 24, 2021
Everyone in This Room Will Someday Be Dead is Emily Austin's darkly humorous and yet realistically prescient tale of the ways in which dread and anxiety - and a desire to please people - can spiral our lives out of control.

Gilda is an atheist and a lesbian but somehow finds that she's stumbled into a job as a receptionist at a Catholic church. Filling in following the mysterious death of her elderly predecessor, Grace, Gilda finds herself spinning tale after tale to keep the people around her happy. All the while Gilda finds herself spiraling deeper and deeper into apathy and depression as she struggles to find meaning in a world that ends in the blackness of death. As the mystery surrounding Grace's death begins to unravel alongside Gilda's own mental state and her relationships, Gilda is confronted with the idea of living despite the existential dread caused by the reality that everyone dies.

Austin's debut novel is truly incredible: the main character, though frustrating and depressing it also in so many ways endearing, perhaps most so because she is so relatable. Gilda acts as a Delphic oracle to a generation of young adults who struggle with the same sorts of apathy, depression, and anxiety that come from living in this world, but Austin uses truly joyful humor to break up the apathy and for that (and for writing Everyone in This Room Will Someday Be Dead I am truly thankful.
Profile Image for Jane.
957 reviews63 followers
July 14, 2021
2 stars

You can read all of my reviews at Nerd Girl Loves Books.

I could not get into this contemporary fiction book about an anxious young woman obsessed with death.

Gilda is anxious, can't keep a job and is obsessed with death. She thinks about it all the time. When she responds to an ad for free therapy at a Catholic church, she finds herself accidentally hired as the new church receptionist, despite the fact that she's secretly an atheist, replacing the previous receptionist who died under mysterious circumstances. At work Gilda starts getting emails from the deceased receptionist's friend and too afraid to let her know her friend is dead, Gilda starts responding. The premise sounds good, but I just couldn't get into the book.

I found reading about Gilda's constant running inner dialogue tedious to read and none of her "stories" or thoughts seemed to have a point or relate to each other. I couldn't make it through the book and stopped about half way through. Perhaps I would have enjoyed it had I stuck it out, but if I can't get into a book half-way through, I have to give up. There are way too many books to read to waste the time.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from NetGalley and Atria Books. All opinions are my own.
Profile Image for Chelsea (chelseadolling reads).
1,479 reviews19.4k followers
January 9, 2023
Not the new favorite I was hoping it might be, but the ending really brought it around for me and I ended up enjoying this much more because of it. Not bad!

CW: car accidents, anxiety, panic attacks, house fires, homophobia, dementia, alcoholism, child abuse, death of a loved one, depression, suicide
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