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The Household Guide to Dying (edition 2010)

by Debra Adelaide

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3223834,434 (3.49)51
Member:vancouverdeb
Title:The Household Guide to Dying
Authors:Debra Adelaide
Info:Berkley Publishing Group (2010), Edition: Reprint, Paperback, 352 pages
Collections:Your library
Rating:**1/2
Tags:fiction

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The Household Guide to Dying by Debra Adelaide

  1. 00
    Finding Neverland [2004 film] by Marc Forster (lucyknows)
    lucyknows: The Household Guide to Dying can be successfully paired with Marc Forster's Finding Neverland based on J.M. Barrie's Peter Pan
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English (37)  Dutch (1)  All languages (38)
Showing 1-5 of 37 (next | show all)
Although the title of this book sounds like it might be a hard go, the subtitle is “a novel about life” and that is the overwhelming message of this book. All of us will die at some time but how we live before then makes all the difference.
Delia is dying of cancer. She had a double radical mastectomy two years ago but the cancer returned and metastasized and chemotherapy is just postponing the inevitable. Delia is married to Archie and they have two daughters, Estelle and Daisy. The girls are old enough to know their mother is dying but young enough to not be sure what that means. Delia stayed home after the girls were born and looked after them and the house. She is a consummate house cleaner and cook and laundress and makes everything she does look easy. She is so good that she does an advice column for a magazine. She has also written a series of books called Household Guides in which she imparts her advice for laundry, the kitchen and other topics. Now that she is dying she is writing The Household Guide to Dying. As she writes it she realizes she has some unfinished business to take care of and it entails a long journey to the northern area of Australia. The book is structured so that portions of her trip are interspersed with her life at home getting ready to die. There are also samples of her advice column sprinkled here and there so some people might find the book disjointed. I enjoyed the various levels which allowed us to get to know Delia over time, much as we might if we met her in person.
I won’t say that this book isn’t sad; there were parts when tears came to my eyes but there were also parts where I snorted with laughter. I thought frequently of two good friends who died recently of cancer leaving behind children and a husband. Like Delia, they faced death with grace and courage and lived life to the fullest while they could.
I think this book would be a wonderful read for a book club. Lots of meaty discussions could be had about the revelations and the subject. ( )
  gypsysmom | Sep 26, 2015 |
rabck from Mysscyn; if you skip the section about the blood sausage, which was just gross, this is an excellent book. Delia is the author of the Household Guide to xxxx series, and a columnist. She pitches the idea of The Household Guide to Dying to her publicist, as the last book she'll write as she's dying of terminal cancer. The book is intended for "what to do pre-death" and this book follows her journey in writing it - including interwoven chapters of her life as a young single mother of Sonny, who is tragically killed at age 8 & you can tell that until now, she never reconciled that loss. It's also the story of her life, relationships and family. Very well written, quite humorous at times and definitely NOT morbid at all. ( )
  nancynova | Jul 12, 2014 |
On the face of it, Delia's got it all good marriage, two great kids, dream job writing witty, practical house and garden books. But when she is diagnosed with terminal cancer, she is forced to view her life in an entirely new light. There are things she must do, there are wrongs to be put right, and there are mysteries from the past that demand resolution. But there is just so little time. Summoning all her strength, she returns to the tiny country town where she fled pregnant and unmarried 14 years before and comes to terms with a loss no mother should ever have to endure. She finishes writing her ultimate how-to book. And she tries, as best she can, to prepare herself and her family for the inevitable. Summary National Library of Australia

THE HOUSEHOLD GUIDE TO DYING takes a highly unpopular subject--#death--and shows how a highly controlling person--#Delia--might approach it. Examples: Delia buys a coffin--not a casket--and ha it delivered to the house BEFORE she dies for her daughters and husband to decorate; she spends days cooking to stock the freezer with family favourite dishes; definitely not NIcholas Sparks or Mitch Albom here.

Despite a slow start, THE HOUSEHOLD GUIDE TO DYING is a moving, sometimes humorous, demystifying dramatization of an event in which each one of us will eventually participate.

7.5 out of 10 Recommended to fans of Australian fiction and to readers who look for quality content in their fiction. ( )
  julie10reads | Jan 6, 2014 |
What's an advice columnist to do when she discovers she is dying? Write a book providing advice about dying, of course.

And that's what Delia does, in this little novel that's a poignant mix of clever columns and stories from Delia's difficult past along with stories about her life as a dying woman. ( )
  debnance | Nov 10, 2012 |
Read over a wet weekend, so sad, comic moments (what will Mr Lambert think of his sabotaged lawn), sympthatetic characters - an excellent book. ( )
  siri51 | Jul 1, 2012 |
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Epigraph
Death, you're more successful than America, even if we don't choose to join you, we do.
Dedication
Dedicated with love to the memory of Adam Wilton and Alison McCallum
First words
The first thing I did this morning was visit the chickens.
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Book description
A brilliantly moving and darkly comic novel, which charts the attempts of dying heroine Delia -- a modern day Mrs Beeton -- to prepare her family for the future and lay to rest a ghost from her past. Inspired by her heroine, Isabella Beeton, Delia has made a living writing a series of hugely successful modern household guides, as well as an acerbic domestic advice column. As the book opens, she is not yet forty, but has only a short time to live. She is preoccupied with how to prepare herself and her family for death, from writing exhaustive lists to teaching her young daughters how to make a perfect cup of tea. What she needs, more than anything, is a manual -- exactly the kind she is the expert at writing. Realising this could be her greatest achievement (for who could be better equipped to write The Household Guide to Dying?) she sets to work. But, in the writing, Delia is forced to confront the ghosts of her past, and the events of fourteen years previously. There is a journey she needs to make, back to the landscape of her past, and one last vital thing she needs to do.Hugely original, life affirming and humorous, The Household Guide to Dying illuminates love, loss, family and the place we call home.
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"On the face of it, Delias got it all good marriage, two great kids, dream job writing witty, practical house and garden books. But when shes diagnosed with terminal cancer, shes forced to view her life in an entirely new light. There are things she must do, there are wrongs to be put right, and there are mysteries from the past that demand resolution. But there is just so little time. Summoning all her strength, she returns to the tiny country town where she fled pregnant and unmarried 14 years before and comes to terms with a loss no mother should ever have to endure. She finishes writing her ultimate how-to book. And she tries, as best she can, to prepare herself and her family for the inevitable"… (more)

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