If you were to choose a book by its title only, then most people would give Everyone in this room will someday be dead a miss. Don’t. It does focus on death, but with some dead pan humour, a suspected murder case, and a confused young woman, the plot is never predictable.
When Gilda is a young girl, she discovers the body of her adored pet rabbit. The memory of this, and watching her father, from her bedroom window, as he buries the bunny, recurs in her dreams. It also frames her thoughts and actions as she grows. As an adult, Gilda has moved out of home. She has lost her job and is in a depressive state and as she reads the paper, she reads about a woman who was fatally stabbed by a beach umbrella. Life seems very precarious!
An advert in the paper shows free therapy sessions given in the local Catholic Church. When Gilda goes along to enquire, the busy Priest thanks her for coming to fill the job of Secretary and shows her to a desk. The previous worker has disappeared, and Gilda’s problem of employment is solved. She is expected to take part in the religious services and not being a Catholic this presents some challenges.
When Gladys, the previous Secretary, is found dead, police suspect murder. As we follow Gilda’s innermost thoughts, and actions (which have a way of backfiring) we see that she is understandably a suspect in the murder. It is hard to describe the anguish that Gilda feels, and the anxious depressed state she lives in, while laughing at some of the humour and situations that she weaves into her life.
The end of the book reveals how life, medication, new friends or maturity have had a profound effect on Gilda. Everyone in this room will someday be dead is a very satisfying, quirky read.
|Simon & Schuster