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The Household Guide to Dying

New or Used: 4 copies from US$11.62
New or Used: 4 copies from US$11.62

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About the Author

Debra Adelaide has worked as a university lecturer and researcher. She is the author of the bestselling parenting anthologies Motherlove, Motherlove II, and Cutting the Cord; the novels The Hotel Albatross and Serpent Dust; and the short story anthology, Acts of Dog. She has been a regular panelist at literary festivals and judge of literary awards, including the Miles Franklin Award, the Vogel Award, the Patrick White Award and the Nita B Kibble Award for Women Writers.


Australian author Adelaide's third novel (after Hotel Albatross and Serpent Dust) features a wry household columnist dying of cancer. Known for her best-selling household guides, Delia is now grappling with her final book-dedicated to dying-and retracing her life to the small town in northern Australia where, pregnant and single, she went to live over 20 years ago. It was here that she also gave birth to her son, met her husband, and befriended several townspeople. As her journey proceeds, the narrative alternates between Delia's major concerns-bringing closure to past events and helping her family cope with her imminent death. Verdict: Heartbreaking and sprinkled with delicate humor, this poignant look at how a strong and determined woman faces death brims with unexpected insights. Fans of female-centered fiction should enjoy.-M. Neville, Trenton P.L., NJ Copyright 2009 Reed Business Information.

Domestic advice columnist Delia is terminally ill, but she has a few loose ends she'd like to wrap up before cancer takes her from her husband and two daughters in Australian novelist Adelaide's ho-hum latest. Though Delia makes lists that encompass everything from the morning routine to planning her daughters' weddings, hoping to control what will come after she is gone, much of what is on her mind is her distant past in the small town of Amethyst, where she lived after she left home at 17 to raise her firstborn. Adelaide metes that portion out slowly, and readers will have figured out the twists long before she gets there. What Delia faces and remembers about her time in Amethyst leaves her better able to face gracefully her own imminent departure, which she chronicles in an advice book. That project leads to some off-kilter scenes (such as Delia observing an autopsy and casket shopping), and though the book ends sweetly, Delia's distant narrative tone and the erratic time line rob the tale of emotional impact. (Apr.) Copyright 2009 Reed Business Information.

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