A Household Guide to Dying by Debra Adelaide
What I drank: pretty much a whole bottle of rose. My favorite rose which one of my friends got me as a going away present (I have amazing friends)
A freshly insightful, hopeful, and dramatic novel full of heart and life-told from the perspective of a household advice columnist, wife, and mother who is determined to finish a lifetime’s worth of tasks even though she doesn’t have a lifetime left to live.
” T he Household Guide to Dying” is a moving, witty, and uplifting novel about Delia, who writes an acerbic and wildly popular household advice column. When Delia realizes that she is losing her long battle with cancer, she decides to organize her remaining months-and her husband and children’s future lives without her-the same way she has always ordered their household. Unlike the many faithful readers of her advice column-people who are rendered lost and confused when faced with dirty shirt collars-Delia knows just what to do. She will leave a list for her daughter’s future wedding; fill the freezer with homemade sausages, stews, and sauces; and even (maddeningly) offer her husband suggestions for a new wife. She’ll compile a lifetime’s worth of advice for her children, and she’ll even write the ultimate “Household Guide to Dying” for her fans. There is one item on her list, however, that proves too much even for “Dear Delia,” and it is the single greatest task she had set for herself. Yet just as Delia is coming to terms with this, an unexpected visitor helps her believe in her life’s worth in a way that no list ever could.
Imbued with Delia’s love for food, Jane Austen, clucking hens, and fragrant gardens, and interspersed with her secrets to making a pot of tea, removing wine stains from lace, and the ingredients to the perfect wedding cake, this is a gorgeously crafted novel that captures the reader-heart and mind-and expands our understanding of a meaningful life.
Drunk Overview: a woman has terminal cancer and knows it, but wants to leave a legacy for her children. She even goes to re-explore her past for closure.
Drunk thoughts: the characters in this book are kind of a masterpiece. The main character, who writes a newspaper column, is slightly too biting and sarcastic but makes theses slightly too logical leaps and bounds. The characters fit so well together that the plot almost wouldnt have matteted. And yet. It did.
- Some of the details in this book are gorgeous. I feel like almost anything is a spoiler, but what her coffin turns into is beautiful and made me cry
- Fun fact, this was originally a book that belonged to my aunt with cancer, read in that what you will
- The characters really drew me in, even the minor characters: her publisher, the woman obsessed with Elvis, the circus people (and boy is this sentence misleading out of context). This book dripped charactet history in such a way that I was ravenous for answers
- The world building felt real to me (which is good. This book was set in the real world). But I could imagine the small towns that popped up, and the magazine that allowed the sometimes too snappy answers, and the quasi-desperate people who would write in.
- This book was so character based. I know I’ve made that clear, but holy shit, this book wouldn’t work without them.
- Not so fun fact: this book ends on a sad sad note. If you dont want your main character to die, maybe skip this one.
- I dont count that as a spoiler. Its called the Household Guide yo Dying. What did you think was going to happen
- Admission: i did think this book was nonfiction for way too long.
- Until the part that made me make a “oh shit no, do not like” face (which Sam, unfortunately, had to see) for like three chapters.
Pairing: straight vodka. Just knock it back (or sip it) and enjoy the journey. Make sure it’s good vodka. Maybe drop some blueberries in there.
Rating; goddamn I enjoyed this book in the most maudlin way. 4.5/5