"Putting Makeup On Dead People" by Jen violi
I have started to read selections from our Young Adult section. This is a section that I previously overlooked by thinking it wasn't very adult in content. Many of our adult patrons consistently choose "YA" titles and I decided to give it a try. I was wrong in my assessment of the section because there's a lot to interest the adult reader as well as the yound adult reader.
'Putting Makeup on Dead People" by Jen Violi is one of those stories that catches your attention as soon as you read the title.
Donna Parisi is a high school Senior, still missing her father who passed away from cancer four years ago. When a class mate unexpectedly dies, Donna finds herself at the same funeral home where her father's funeral was held. While at the funeral home she realizes that helping others deal with death might be something that she would be good at. She decides to explore the possibility of becoming a mortician.
Naturally her Mother is not in favor of Donna's decision and it causes serious friction between them. Also it's hard for her friends to understand as well. But Donna perseveres and ends up attending Mortuary School and having an internship at the above mentioned funeral home.
The book dealt with themes of death and grief and beginning a new life after the loss of a loved one. This is exactly what happens to Donna and to her mother too.
The book does deal with mortuary science practices. Rather than being morbid it de-mystifies what goes on at a funeral home and gives insights into why people choose mortuary science. I have a different perspective and appreciation for the people who work in this field, after having read it.