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Publishers Weekly® Reviews
- Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page .
- Review Date: 2015-05-25
- Reviewer: Staff
If Carrie Bradshaw worked in a funeral home à la Six Feet Under, her story would look something like Meyer’s charming memoir about her tenure planning funerals at Crawford, an elite funeral parlor in Manhattan where the Upper East Side socialites she grew up around plan their ultimate farewell parties. After her father’s death, she begins searching for meaning in her own life, and the path leads her, surprisingly, to a calling to work with the dead. At Crawford, she faces challenges as a child of privilege trying to fit in with the working-class staff: receptionists snub her and whisper about her behind her back. But she finds respite downstairs with the embalmer, Bill, and her kind if brusque boss, Tony, who soon offers her a promotion and an office of her own after she proves to be indispensable to Crawford’s rich and famous clientele. Soon Meyer discovers her deep capacity for empathy and her desire to help people in their most difficult moments, along with the calling of making each funeral as amazing as any bash in the Hamptons. Meyer injects a healthy dose of humor into what could otherwise be a morbid topic. From saving the day when an important ambassador’s body is lost in transit, to gracefully handling intense office drama when she is accused of having an affair with Tony, Meyer takes the high road and concentrates on what becomes a spiritual journey of healing and self-discovery: “I needed to know death. I needed to understand it. I needed to stop fearing it, and my way of doing that was to help other people who were grieving.” It’s a story well suited to the big screen. (Aug.)