LONGLISTED FOR THE ORANGE PRIZE 2009
"Warm and moving ... quirky and unsentimental" The Age
As I resigned myself to the fact that the latest Household Guide I'd written would be my last, I conceived in a flash the best idea ever. I rang Nancy and left a message. 'Think of the title,' I said. 'How catchy does The Household Guide to Dying sound?'
When Delia Bennet-author and domestic advice columnist-is diagnosed with cancer, she knows it's time to get her house in order. After all, she's got to secure the future for her husband, their two daughters and their five beloved chickens. But as she writes lists and makes plans, questions both large and small creep in. Should she divulge her best culinary secrets? Read her favourite novels one last time? Plan her daughters' far-off weddings?
Complicating her dilemma is the matter of the past, and a remote country town where she fled as a pregnant teenager, only to leave broken-hearted eight years later.
Researching and writing her final Household Guide, Delia is forced to confront the pieces of herself she left behind. She learns what matters is not the past but the present-that the art of dying is all about truly living.
Fresh, witty, deeply moving - and a celebration of love, family and that place we call home - this unforgettable story will surprise and delight the reader until the very last page.