The Household Guide to Dying
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'Darkly comic novel with a tone that is Desperate Housewives meets Six Feet Under...this is caustic and hilarious, as well as heart-warming. A clever read that stays with you for a long time' Red 'Adelaide's moving novel captures both the hope and sadness of Delia's plight' Daily Mail 'A novel about loving and grieving...filled with humour, warmth and sadness - just like life' Good Reading 'I found this novel entrancing. The Household guide to Dying is a joyous, irreverent romp of a book that resonates deep inside long after you finish. Delia's magical, crystalline voice made me fervently wish that she was real and that I knew her.' PATRICIA WOOD, Lottery --This text refers to the Paperback edition.
About the Author
Debra Adelaide is the author of two novels which were published in Australia and four themed collections of fiction and memoirs. She has worked as a researcher, editor and book reviewer, and has a PhD from the University of Sydney. She is now a senior lecturer in creative writing at the University of Technology, Sydney. She has three children and several chickens. --This text refers to the Paperback edition.See all Product Description
Top Customer Reviews
But her family had also included a young son, Sonny, who Delia had born in her late teens with a father with whom she had had a brief affair. Having moved out of her native Sydney, Delia lived north of there in an area populated by Australian circus folk and other itinerants. Raising her son by herself, she met Archie, her soon-to-be husband, who was looking forward to being a father to young Sonny. Fate intervened, as it often does, and Delia was dealt an almost life-ending blow. Marrying Archie, she moved back to Sydney and began a second family with him.
By the time Delia is facing down her death, she has established herself as a writer of "how to" guides. She decides to write one on dying. As she begins to write, she realises she must face certain things in her past and tie up loose ends. Debra Alelaide's wonderful novel tells of those "loose ends" and Delia's courage in facing her final days. "Household" is not a depressing book as much as a profound one. Obviously the reader knows the ending will not be "good" for Delia, but, in death, Delia has proven to her loved ones to be as endearing as she was in life.
A wonderful book.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
The book goes from the ridiculous...Delia's household books and advice for example. To the...
Bizarre and I might add craziness...of watching a live (no pun intended) autopsy; witnessing the extraction of a loved one's heart; getting a casket made of rough hewn and cratelike materials to place on her porch for what seems like months before her 'passing' so her young daughters can decorate with drawings etc, her husband too; making blood sausage out of her own blood to leave for her unwitting family to devour after she is gone to have a part of her within them etc.
To the poignant...the search for something...closure, acceptance, reassurance, reconnection to her lost son; and the ultimate end when the focus becomes more real and understandable.
Her husband, Archie, is a prince of a man, and her children, well, they behave like children.
While I will not most likely forget this book, I would not have chosen it had I known its contents.
The final pages did reinforce my own personal convictions...to try to live life to its fullest, appreciate the smallest and most valuable blessings and embrace the ones I love and care for.
Delia does not feel sorry for herself, in fact, she keeps up her every day life and goes on as though nothing unusual is happening to her and/or her family. She continues to write her advice column which we get to read from the people who write to her and her responses. We get to follow along as she writes her last book about dying. Delia is a very likeable and unusual protagonist.
Since Delia is a bibliophile; therefore, there are many literary references in this book. Many Jane Austen references are made and the death poet, John Donne, has his fair share. This book is wonderfully well written and should touch every reader in one way or another. Even if it's not the way you would want to go out of this world, you will be abel to appreciate it as Delia's way. This is a very touching and moving book.
The protagonist's unpredictable and outrageous emotion-driven actions in the story seemed very inconsistent with the task-oriented, sophisticated "Perfect Paula" impression given in the book advertisement. This book was not what I was expecting based on the description, in other words.
I didn't have any unique lasting impressions after reading this book; for me it was not an enjoyable read, so I feel as though I wasted my time with this read. This will not be a book that withstands the test of time. All that said I did finish the book, mostly because by the end I was curious to see how the plot got wrapped up. I suppose there is something to be said for that.