This was one of those books where I stubbled on it by chance. I found a sales table and took advantage. I was also drawn to it by the summary on the back of it: “Gilda can’t stop thinking about death.” Death is a topic that is both taboo and something people wonder about. “It’s not the most obvious job–she’s a lesbian and an atheist for starters…” Considering she wants a job at a Catholic church, it seems like a lot of things can go wrong…and it will be hilarious!
Gilda is having issues with her mental health and she is responding to an ad at the local Catholic church that has group therapy sessions. Instead of inquiring about the group session, she is stopped by the priest, Father Jeff, and is asked if she is the woman that he is going to interview for the secretary position. Not sure how to respond, Gilda responds yes and gets a secretary job. She soon finds out that the reason the position opened up was because the woman, Grace, is recently deceased. Beside doing paperwork, making calls, and answering emails, Gilda makes it her job to try and solve Grace’s death with the help of people who knew her and emails that are turning up. Despite being a lesbian, Gilda catches the eye of a man that she begins to loath, but cannot seem to be able to turn him down. There is also a personal view into Gilda’s “relationships” that she builds with other people she tries to date.
Not sure if I had mentioned this in other posts, but I have suffered from anxiety and depression for much of my life. If I do not manage it, it can become crippling to the point where my daily life suffers. Either Austin knew someone with mental illness or has gone through it herself. She does a great job of capturing what it is like to go through something so consuming, but there is also humor in Gilda’s situation. That is one thing that I would hold on to while I was feeling my lowest, even if it was self-deprecating. I guess what I am trying to say is that I relate a lot to Gilda and I believe that is why I love her and the book so much. I do have to admit that the mood shifts quite dramatically towards the end of the book, but I believe it is also an accurate reflection of the state of mind Gilda is in throughout the story. I highly recommend this book if you enjoy dead-pan humor. I believe Buzzfeed says it best: “The perfect blend of macabre and funny.”