Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Putting Makeup on Dead People

Title: Putting Makeup on Dead People
Author: Jennifer Violi
Reading Level: Young Adult
Release Date: July 26, 2011

Donna comes to a startling revelation at the funeral of a classmate. She wants to be a mortician. She hasn’t cared about much since her father died four years ago but she can feel that this is something she really wants. She has just been going through the motions with her friend and family but with this decision, everything in her life starts to change. There is a quote from Rumi in the book that says, “Let the beauty we love be what we do. There are a hundred ways to kneel and kiss the ground.” Donna decides to try to find her way to do that, whether it is spending time with her new Wiccan best friend, learning to “love the whole person” in mortuary school, being with her new artist boyfriend, or just finding out who she is.

Right after reading this book, the grandmother of someone close to me died. I was always horrified by the idea of looking at dead bodies and had always managed to avoid it in the past. I’m so glad I read it because it really helped me understand that the funeral, the makeup, the viewing, they were all for us, the people who were still living. And the people who do the work behind it are giving dignity to our loved one and the chance to mourn and say goodbye for us. This was the perfect book at the right time for me. Even without this, it is an excellent story.

The Bottom Line: Putting Makeup on Dead People is an excellent book about finding yourself in the face of what other people think is right for you. And you can find out a little bit about being a mortician along the way.

The publisher provided me with an advanced reader’s copy of the book for this review. Putting Makeup on Dead People has an expected release date of July 26, 2011.

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