One would be forgiven in thinking that a book about 'making exists' could be morbid, depressing and definitely not funny. How wonderful and surprising to find out that this book is not just thought provoking but is also tender, witty, hugely informative, and very readable. It does what every brilliant book should do - entertain, and question. Talking about death in our society is taboo, and talking about one's own demise, let alone preparations for such an event are definitely a 'no, no'. Sarah's personal account of her fathers illness and death, leads us from the 'particular', into the 'general' - she travels widely witnessing fascinating practices of dignifying the dead in many different cultures and countries; from the Iranian laments to Ghanean coffin making. She looks at different ways grief is expressed, and often funnily compares the British stiff upper lip attitude to the less supressed outpourings such as Iranian wailing.
I loved this book for it's life affirming attitude too, and breaking down the 'non-dit' premise of 'if we don't talk about death, and ignore it, it will just conveniently go away'. But from different rituals world-wide we see that it is very much a part of life, and that we can and should express our grief creatively, openly and without fear. Read this - a real journey.