As in life, death is not without its agenda. This is something seventy-nine year old Edna Reid finds out when her partner, Ted, suddenly dies.
To cope with her loss, she sets up a Death Cafe to break down the taboo around death and to encourage other members of the community to discuss it openly. Over tea and cake, the participants hide their fears behind a veil of dark humour.
Religious fanaticism clashes with Victorian spiritualism as Edna’s meetings trigger lively conversations on the fragility of life, anxiety over dying, cost of funerals, and making sure long-lost greedy relatives don’t benefit from inheritances.
Soon, a series of events begin to unfold which threaten to undermine Edna’s livelihood and the Death Cafe meetings. These events just happen to coincide with the arrival of a mysterious stranger into the village.
Who is she and why is she so hostile to Edna?
Death Cafe’s is something that is totally new to me. How could I not know they exist? I can really see what the advantage of going to these cafe’s is and it was an advantage to see just what sort of topics would come up by reading about them in the novel.
As much as everyone is getting over a loss, there is also a lot of other details that come up of which most of us put off thinking about. For instance wills, what sort of funerals our loved ones want as well as ourselves. It’s good to have these conversations and get things into place so that it isn’t as hard for the loved ones left behind.
The nature of the book may sound quite a sombre one but it really isn’t. Yes there are some touching moments that may make the eyes fill up, but on the main this is a story about a small community and one lady who is trying to pull everyone together. Add to that some very strange going on’s which adds an air of suspense to it all.
There are a whole bunch of characters which makes for a great mixture. Edna is quite a straight forward talking lady and you can’t help but lean towards her. I also liked Manny who is always on stand by to be Edna’s night in shining armour. There are some that took a little longer to warm to but it all adds to the drama of the story.
Edna’s Death Cafe was an eye opener of a read. I definitely learned something new from reading it. It also gives you food for thought. I think readers will certainly take different parts of this book away with them and I also hope it gives people comfort. There is definitely so much scope for more of Edna and the rest of the characters. I can see them becoming sleuths as you know how it is in small places where everyone knows everyone else’s business? It also had a cosy mystery feel to it so would be great to see more of that side incorporated with the cafe. An enjoyable read and one I would urge others to read.
Edna’s Death Cafe is available to purchase from Amazon. (Please note that link used is an affiliate link).