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The Extraordinary Deaths of Mrs. Kip

by Sara Brunsvold

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7327328,171 (4.48)3
Aidyn Kelley is talented, ambitious, and ready for a more serious assignment than the fluff pieces she's been getting as a cub reporter for the Kansas City Star. In her eagerness, she pushes too hard, earning herself the menial task of writing an obituary for an unremarkable woman who's just entered hospice care.But there's more to Clara Kip than meets the eye. The spirited septuagenarian may be dying, but she's not quite ready to cash it in yet. Never one to shy away from an assignment herself, she can see that God brought the young reporter into her life for a reason. And if it's a story Aidyn Kelley wants, that's just what Mrs. Kip will give her--but she's going to have to work for it.Debut author Sara Brunsvold delights with this emotional multigenerational story that shows that the very best life is made up of thousands of little deaths to self. You'll want to be just like Mrs. Kip when you grow up!… (more)
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Showing 1-5 of 27 (next | show all)
It’s hard to know how to review some books, because Aaah!! This was so good! Mom read this book before me, and after reading her review, I knew I needed to fit it into my reading schedule sometime soon. Unfortunately, my life at the time didn’t allow sit-down reading, but the audiobook came to my rescue, and I could hardly bear to put it down when I had to stop and focus on something else at times. Being a story about two women—one who was young, impulsive, and working her tail off to try to advance herself, and another who was old and entering hospice care as cancer got the better of her—I wondered at first what kind of story this could turn out to be. It’s not an exciting, adventurous premise or start to the book, but regardless, a few chapters in, I was hooked.

I could relate to Aidyn’s sense of ambition and drive for accomplishment as the story started; I could see myself steamrolling over other people the way she almost did, just to try to get the “more important” things done. Watching Mrs. Kip’s reaction to that, though, was fascinating, and I soon fell in love with her sense of adventure, wisdom, and heart for following and serving the Lord—even when it got physically difficult for her to do so. I was challenged by her strength and the way she looked to the Lord for direction, and delighted by her childlike sense of wonder and appreciation of beauty. Overall, this was an amazing book, I highly recommend it, and I can’t wait to see what kind of stories Sara Brunsvold comes out with next! ( )
  EstherFilbrun | Oct 5, 2022 |
I don't have the words to say what I am thinking about this book right now. What a stunning debut! I just keep thinking about the quote (paraphrased by me): "Just think what one man can accomplish who is wholly devoted to God." This novel is inspirational, fantastically world-building, and will linger in your mind for a long time. The main character, Mrs. Kip, is delightful and someone you wish was your best friend. She is a role model and mentor. This book should be on everyone's bookshelf. I am marking it as re-readable so I will remember to visit this wonderful tome. I can't wait for Ms. Brunsvold's second novel! ( )
  khoyt | Sep 18, 2022 |
The title was enough to make me want to read this book, but I’ve also heard so many great things about it. Creative and witty with colorful, realistic, and engaging characters, this is a story that will stay with me for a long time. It made me think and examine my life to see what I could do to make a difference in the lives of others.

Clara Kip was an amazing example to those around her. I loved her humor and positive outlook on life, even though she’d had many hardships. The impact she had on others changed their lives. When Aidyn Kelley, a talented reporter, is assigned to write an obituary for Mrs. Kip as she enters hospice care, Aidyn gets more than she expects.

“I did a lot of hard things. But hard things usually end in the biggest blessings.”

“I simply tried to love people as best I could for as long as I was privileged to be with them. We don’t stay long in each other’s lives—that’s the crux of our humanness. You have to be the friend people need while they are there with you, because it’s the only chance you’ll get.”

This is a Christian fiction book and has a lot of Christian references. It is very well-written and brings out all the emotions. I highly recommend it. 4.5 stars

I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy from NetGalley. All opinions are my own. ( )
  swissgranny | Sep 3, 2022 |
Thanks to Revell & NetGalley for a digital advance reader's copy. All comments and opinions are my own.

This was a moving and memorable debut novel that was inspired by the actual experiences of the Laotian refugee resettlement effort in Kansas City in 1975, during the Vietnam War era. But this isn’t a story about war. It’s a story about Mrs. Kip, a determined American widow with a vision for helping others, and Aidyn Kelley, the young cub reporter who meets her at the end of her life.

Unlike many Christian novels which just hint at faith, God is mentioned frequently – how He motivates and empowers Mrs. Kip, inspires Aidyn, and works in so many people’s lives. Mrs. Kip frequently refers to the Bible, prays, and often shares wisdom from her life’s experiences. But this is all delicately woven into the novel without heavy-handedness. There were so many encouraging observations and inspirational remarks that I found myself noting the memorable statements, just as Aidyn did while interviewing Mrs. Kip.

The story begins with inexperienced reporter Aidyn Kelley being assigned by her newspaper to write an obituary of Mrs. Clara Kip. Unbeknownst to Aidyn, Mrs. Kip has had an amazing history of assisting Hmong refugees after they have escaped Laos and Viet Nam to resettle in Kansas City.

What made the book a page-turner for me was the relationship/friendship that developed between Mrs. Kip and Aidyn. They only had seven days together, yet grew so close and Aidyn learned so much about friendship, about God’s power, and what is really important. Author Sara Brunsvold created a vivid personality with Mrs. Kip. She was bold, fun, strong, loving, encouraging, brave, feisty, and loyal. She was a great role-model for Aidyn - and for any reader.

As another reviewer noted, even though the present day story takes place in a hospice, and I used many tissues toward the conclusion, the novel is one of hope and joy. ( )
  PhyllisReads | Aug 28, 2022 |
This is a heart warming story of a throwaway assignment that is given to a reporter that changes two lives forever. Aidyn is a talented, ambitious reporter that that is eager to get "The Story" to write. Instead, she gets the task of writing an obituary for an ordinary lady who has just entered hospice care.
  SABC | Aug 22, 2022 |
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Aidyn Kelley is talented, ambitious, and ready for a more serious assignment than the fluff pieces she's been getting as a cub reporter for the Kansas City Star. In her eagerness, she pushes too hard, earning herself the menial task of writing an obituary for an unremarkable woman who's just entered hospice care.But there's more to Clara Kip than meets the eye. The spirited septuagenarian may be dying, but she's not quite ready to cash it in yet. Never one to shy away from an assignment herself, she can see that God brought the young reporter into her life for a reason. And if it's a story Aidyn Kelley wants, that's just what Mrs. Kip will give her--but she's going to have to work for it.Debut author Sara Brunsvold delights with this emotional multigenerational story that shows that the very best life is made up of thousands of little deaths to self. You'll want to be just like Mrs. Kip when you grow up!

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