Household Guide To Dying by Debra AdelaideHousehold Guide To Dying by Debra Adelaide

Household Guide To Dying

byDebra Adelaide

Paperback | April 13, 2010

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Delia has made a living writing modern household guides. If you ask, she can tell you how to get the wine stain out of your linen, and the proper way to boil an egg. As the book opens, she is not yet forty, but has only a short time to live.

Unlike the many fans of her advice column—people who can't quite cope with dirty shirt collars—Delia knows just what to do. What she needs is a manual —the kind she is expert at writing. Realizing this could be her greatest achievement, she sets to work. But in the writing, she is forced to confront the ghosts of her past: She realizes that there is a journey she needs to make and one last vital thing she needs to do.

Yet just as Delia is coming to terms with the impossibility of her to-do list, an unexpected visitor helps her believe in her life's worth in a wholly surprising way. Witty and uplifting, The Household Guide to Dying is a beautifully written novel about life.

Debra Adelaide is the author of two previous novels in Australia including two novels, The Hotel Albatross, and Serpent Dust. She has worked as a researcher, editor and book reviewer, and has a PhD from the University of Sydney. She is presently a senior lecturer in creative writing at the University of Technology, Sydney where she liv...
Title:Household Guide To DyingFormat:PaperbackProduct dimensions:392 pages, 8.2 × 5.2 × 1.1 inShipping dimensions:8.2 × 5.2 × 1.1 inPublished:April 13, 2010Publisher:Penguin CanadaLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0143169785

ISBN - 13:9780143169789


Rated 3 out of 5 by from Let's be honest, it is depressing. Well, I knew that picking up 'The Household Guide to Dying' was taking a chance. However, I love to live dangerously like that- picking up book titles that are such a risk because sometimes that's how you find the gems. The cover is cheerful, the review across the top of the front cover calls it a "life-affirming novel." The backcover has a quote from Chatelaine "Unexpectedly Funny". So okay, I got the message- this book might be about dying, but it's not going to be depressing. Next thing I knew I was at the register, debit card in hand, feeling brave at taking this risk. Let me start with the positive. To be sure, the author, Debra Adelaide, is a gem. She's funny, she's intelligent, she's interesting- and I would read another novel by her in a heartbeat. In this novel, the main character is writing a book called "The Household Guide to Dying" and one of my favourite moments was when she tries to pitch it to her publisher and one of the lines is: Who in their right minds would pick up a novel called "The Household Guide to Dying"? A little friendly jab at her reader, made me chuckle- it's a good point! Overall, however, somewhere along the line I decided that I didn't like the book and by the time I was finished reading it I was sorry that I purchased it as I'm very unlikely to read it again. I would love to tell you not to be scared of the subject matter, that her wit and story-telling make this a worthwhile and ultimately heart-warming read- but I can't. The truth is, let's be honest, it is depressing. There was also a very disturbing chapter involving blood sausages that I found quite disturbing- I won't tell you where the blood came from that she used to prepare for her husband and children but let's just say that it didn't come from an animal, and the mother puts lots of her self into her cooking. Yes, disturbing. Thank goodness the meal was later thrown out because I couldn't handle reading about it being consumed. The detailed description of an autopsy added to the macabre. I felt I had nobody to blame but myself- I took a chance on the novel and it ultimately did not pay off- if you're looking to choose your next novel my advice would be to keep looking. And I HATE to give negative reviews on books, positive ones are much more fun- but I wish I had skipped this one myself. It had some bright spots in the story but they were way overshadowed by the dark spots. Also, the story did not make me cry. So it wasn't depressing in that wonderful, heart-tugging, tears in your eyes lump in your throat kind of emotional connection- I've never faulted a book for making me cry. This just kind of bummed me out and wasn't a happy place to be in between these pages. I thought that the plot was awesome but the execution was too dark and gloomy and didn't do anything for me. Let's be honest, it is depressing.
Date published: 2010-05-06
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Not for everyone I had trouble getting into this book. Be warned that it wanders and meanders along, both with the plot and the style of the writing. Despite that, I kept reading -and somehow I came to really appreciate the story. My dad passed away of cancer a few years ago -and I think for me, this book gave me some insight into what it would be like to face your own death from terminal cancer. It's a quirky book, but somehow - it is more affirming than sad. I am glad that read the book. It really is about how family and love can rise above death.
Date published: 2010-05-05