Undertaker Nina Sherwood is full of good advice. For example, never wear lip gloss when you’re scattering ashes.
Nina is your average 30-year-old with a steady job, a nice home – and dead bodies in her basement. As an undertaker, she often prefers the company of the dead to the living – they’re obliging, good listeners and take secrets to the grave.
Nina is on a one-woman mission to persuade her peers that passing on is just another part of life. But the residents of Primrose Hill are adamant that a funeral parlour is the last thing they need… and they will stop at nothing to close down her dearly beloved shop.
When Nina’s ‘big break’ funeral turns out to be a prank, it seems like it’s the final nail in the coffin for her new business. That is, until a (tall, dark and) mysterious investor shows up out of the blue, and she decides to take a leap of faith.
Because, after all, it’s her funeral…The perfect antidote to all those books about weddings, this book will make you laugh until you cry.
I received a copy of this book from One More Chapter via NetGalley in return for an honest review.
Death is often deemed life’s only certainty. It’s something we often avoid talking or thinking about until its inevitability creeps upon us.
Fusing romantic comedy and death needs certain skills to work. Firstly, the ability to inject humour into a sad event. Secondly, creating a vivid setting, so that the reader can visualise the humorous events, as they read. Finally, the creation of believable, vibrant characters, who the reader can relate to. The author manages all of this, and the result is funny, poignant and surprisingly romantic.
The plot is simple, an ambitious young woman encounters unexpected local resistance, which threatens her venture’s success. Using the ‘four weddings and a funeral’, format, which works so well, we follow Nina’s experiences as she tries to make a success of her business, keep on the right side of neighbours and cope with an enigmatic stranger.
There are five wakes and a wedding, and each is full of conflict, humour, and poignancy. The business of death and funerals is well researched and has intrinsic interest. Not as darkly comical as the US show’Six Feet Under’, it does have the same noir comedy appeal, with distinctly British humour.
An original twist for the romantic comedy, which has wide audience appeal.
As a former journalist, broadcaster and advertising copywriter, Karen Ross has followed a fairly traditional path into writing fiction. Five Wakes and a Wedding is her fourth book, and like its predecessors, the novel has two common threads: the setting is London’s Primrose Hill – Karen’s own neighbourhood – and one of the characters is a dog . . . this time he’s called Chopper and he’s almost the same size as a Shetland Pony
Karen has been self-employed for many years and continues to work as a marketing consultant, in the absence of an offer to manage Tottenham Hotspur. By way of credentials, her other ‘job’ is trading profitably on the world’s first football stock market, a platform called Football Index, where you buy and sell players with real money.