Jennifer (JC-S)'s Reviews > The Household Guide To Dying

The Household Guide To Dying by Debra Adelaide
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May 13, 2016

it was amazing
bookshelves: australian-womens-writers-challenge

‘The first thing I did this morning was visit the chickens.’

Delia Bennet, wife and mother aged 39, is dying. Between now, and then, there is a lot Delia wants to accomplish. She has her lists of things to do, her loose ends to tie up, her planning for her husband and daughters once she is dead. Delia is also writing her final book: ‘The Household Guide to Dying’, the last in a Household Guide series which has included the Garden, Home Maintenance, Kitchen and Laundry. She will address themes such as Palliative Care, Funeral Festivities and Wills and Wishes. She won’t, lacking the necessary experience, address the afterlife.

‘I could have been lots of things. And yet I had become a dying mother with a book that possibly would never be finished.’

Delia wants to say goodbye to her daughters Daisy and Estelle, to her husband Archie. She wants to prepare them for her death. And it’s hard: balancing what Delia thinks their needs will be in the future with their (and her) current needs. How do you prepare for a future that you are no longer an active part of? Delia’s life is rich and layered: her research for her book – including attending an autopsy, her regular column of domestic advice, her family. Delia may be dying, but she’s not sitting around waiting for it to happen.

‘It was natural to want to tie up the dangling threads before you died. These threads had tripped me up too often over the years,’

Delia needs to revisit her past. Her life as a pregnant 17 year old in a Queensland country town called Amethyst. Delia’s two week solo visit to Amethyst is a very special part of this novel: can she find what she is searching for?

‘Death is a condition, but dying is an act, I said. It’s a noun versus a verb.’

I loved this book. It made me laugh, it made me cry, and it made me think. It made me wonder, too, about the fine line between fact and fiction. This novel really appeals to me: it’s the combination of a strong, likeable character, humour, the balance between the important and the mundane.

Jennifer Cameron-Smith
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Reading Progress

May 5, 2016 – Started Reading
May 9, 2016 – Finished Reading
May 13, 2016 – Shelved
May 13, 2016 – Shelved as: australian-womens-writers-challenge

Comments (showing 1-3 of 3) (3 new)

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message 1: by Roger (new) - added it

Roger Brunyate A persuasive review, Jennifer. I must look to see if (a) the book is available here, and (b) if you have an Australian Women shelf. Roger.


Josie There is a Bookring for it you could sign up to Roger
http://www.bookcrossing.com/forum/20/...


Jennifer (JC-S) Roger wrote: "A persuasive review, Jennifer. I must look to see if (a) the book is available here, and (b) if you have an Australian Women shelf. Roger."

Roger, if you read the book, I'll be interested in what you think. I'm reading a number of books by Australian Women authors at present: my shelf is australian-womens-writers-challenge. Jennifer


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