Short Review #37: Everyone in This Room Will Someday Be Dead by Emily Austin (2021)

Rating: 3.5 out of 5⭐️
Title: Everyone in This Room Will Someday Be Dead: A Novel
Author: Emily R. Austin
Published: 2021 (Atria Books)
Pages: 256 (Hardcover)
Genres: Adult Fiction, Contemporary, LGBT, Queer, Humor
CW: Suicide, Alcoholism, Mental Health Issues, Death, Homophobia, Grief

My borrowed copy of Everyone in This Room… by my keyboard at work

Hello and Happy Saturday! I hope everyone’s week is ending on a good note, and hopefully mine will too. I was very excited to finish my latest read though, Everyone in The Room Will Someday Be Dead by Emily Austin, a new Canadian author I had not heard of before seeing this book. After reading good reviews, I thought I would pick this one up! Plus the plot sounded hilarious and interesting.

It turns out the crackers I stole are the body of Christ. After eating more than half the bag, I googled the cracker brand and learned that I paired marble Cracker Barrel cheese with God’s transubstantiated body. I had originally googled the crackers so I could leave them a review. I planned to write: BORING. Whoever created these is unimaginative. These crackers are tasteless and bland” – Emily Austin, Everyone in This Room Will Someday Be Dead

Our heroine Gilda, is an atheist, lesbian twenty-something who needs a job and cannot stop thinking about illness, death, her obsession with animals and building the perfect dirty dishes tower. When she stumbles across advertised free therapy at a Catholic Church, a priest named Jeff believes she’s there for an interview as the church’s receptionist. Gilda gets the job and replaces the previous receptionist, Grace, who recently died under mysterious circumstances. As Gilda fools everyone into thinking she’s a pious Catholic and straight, she becomes engrossed in Grace’s life and communicates via email with one of her friend’s, Rosemary, pretending to be the deceased Grace in order to avoid the awkwardness of telling Rosemary her friend passed. As Gilda navigates a new romance, her health, family life and what really happened to Grace, she learns more about herself and existence.

My mother had a baby, and her mother had a baby, and her mother had a baby. Every woman in my family before me lived to have a baby – just so that baby could grow up to have another baby. If I don’t have a baby, then all of those women reproduced just so that I could exist. I am the final product. I am the final baby” – Emily Austin, Everyone in This Room Will Someday Be Dead

Austin’s novel is filled with clever and thoughtful writing, I loved her contemporary writing style and it was honestly my favorite part. The succession of events following Gilda were also well-received and I had a great time reading this one. The only big downside was I did not care for how dry Gilda’s character could be at times. And sometimes I could not follow her progression as a character. Gilda was hilarious and the existentialism was relatable and palpable, but sometimes I felt as though I didn’t truly understand where the novel was heading. The novel definitely had more promise in the beginning, but the end did not follow through as much as I had hoped. The subjects of mental illness and family issues were sensitively, while also being boldly, told and reflective. But why should you read this book? If you’re into contemporary novels about unique and LGBT characters that question existential issues, this is the book for you.

I give this one a 3.5 out of 5!


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