Everyone in This Room Will Someday Be Dead

by Emily Austin

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LoveReading Expert Review of Everyone in This Room Will Someday Be Dead

Powerful, beautiful, and quirky, this unique novel about anxiety-ridden and death-obsessed Gilda is a dream of a read.

Our July 2021 Book Club Recommendation

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This deliciously quirky, amusing and sharply-pointed debut novel slowly wormed its way into my heart and soul. Anxiety is plaguing Gilda, who also has death on her mind, she unexpectedly finds herself in a new job, fending off unwanted attention from men while keeping her girlfriend secret, and investigating a suspicious death. Emily Austin writes with such honesty and empathy, I found her words burrowed their way into my mind before reaching beyond thought, to feelings. It took me a while to get to know and warm to Gilda, she borders on awkward as she tells her story. I gradually found myself getting closer and closer to this fragile yet thoughtful and beautiful woman. The plot weaves a unique magic as it ranges from mystery to family drama to relationship story. The humour is pithy and smart, the observations can sting yet are compassionate, and the descriptions simply sing. I really have fallen in love with this book, and can’t wait to see what comes next from Emily Austin, she is a writer I will be looking out for. Everyone In This Room Will Someday Be Dead is a compelling, provocative, and beautiful LoveReading Star Book. 

Liz Robinson

Everyone in This Room Will Someday Be Dead Synopsis

Meet Gilda. She cannot stop thinking about death. Desperate for relief from her anxious mind and alienated from her repressive family, she responds to a flyer for free therapy at a local church and finds herself abruptly hired to replace the deceased receptionist Grace. It's not the most obvious job - she's queer and an atheist for starters - and so in between trying to learn mass, hiding her new maybe-girlfriend and conducting an amateur investigation into Grace's death, Gilda must avoid revealing the truth of her mortifying existence.

A blend of warmth, deadpan humour, and pitch-perfect observations about the human condition, Everyone in This Room Will Someday Be Dead is a crackling exploration of what it takes to stay afloat in a world where your expiration - and the expiration of those you love - is the only certainty.

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What To Read After Everyone in This Room Will Someday Be Dead

Would I Lie to You?
This is How we are Human
The Origins of Iris
The Blessed Girl

Everyone in This Room Will Someday Be Dead Reader Reviews

In addition to our Lovereading expert opinion some of our Reader Review Panel were also lucky enough to read and review this title.

Emily Austin had me in stitches at Gilda’s predicaments one moment, then weeping the next. This insightful and poignant book is one I will never forget.

Emily Austin had me in stitches at Gilda’s predicaments one moment, then weeping the next. This insightful and poignant book is one I will never forget. As Gilda obsesses and overthinks her way through life, I could not help but feel her every emotion, be it dread, anxiety or fear. But it was her attempts to pass as a devout Catholic that had me roaring with laughter. This wonderful book took me into the mind of a woman struggling with her mental health and made me really feel everything she felt. A stunning debut.

Karen McIntosh

Hold on to your seat! Here’s a quirky novel with a unique voice that will toss you around.

This novel takes a bit of getting into. At first I wasn’t sure I liked the tone of the writing, but once I got used to it, the book zipped along helter skelter and in all different directions. The author is clever in the way Gilda thinks – it’s much like every human who can’t concentrate on anything for a length of time and her thoughts lurch from one subject to another. If you can cope with that (and with her erratic behaviour) you’ll enjoy this book. And whilst the character on the outside is hard, flawed and slightly strange, in truth she cares deeply about the people who matter to her, she is just misunderstood. I think this will be a marmite book – you’ll either love it or hate it. I like marmite but I couldn’t have too many pieces of toast at the same time.

Heather Byrne

Irreverent humour, on point observations and an endearing protagonist in the shape of twenty-seven-year-old mentally beleaguered Gilda combine in a heartfelt and impressive debut.

Irreverent humour, on point observations and an endearing protagonist in the shape of twenty-seven-year-old mentally beleaguered Gilda combine in a heartfelt and impressive debut. Riddled with anxiety and preoccupied by thoughts of death, Gilda is a frequent visitor to the emergency room but when she presents with a broken arm, and something other than her usual complaint of heart palpitations, she typically plays it down as the result of “a small car accident”. Having been sacked from the bookstore where she worked following multiple absences Gilda is only too aware that she needs to talk about her troubling thoughts. But when a flyer advertising mental health support takes her to the local Catholic Church she accidentally finds herself employed as their new receptionist. Gilda hates to let anyone down, can’t say no, cries at the drop of a hat and refuses to be the bearer of bad news and is also an atheist and lesbian, not that she is telling Father Jeff that though!

Drafted into the position of deceased Grace Moppet, Gilda soon finds herself engaging in an email correspondence with Grace’s old friend and getting to grips with the catechism and communion, all whilst avoiding tackling the pile of dishes in her apartment. Her girlfriend is fighting a losing battle for her attention, a male life coach seems to think he is dating her and between her dysfunctional family and idiosyncratic colleagues, Gilda is surrounded by a memorably well-drawn cast of characters. The book consists of Gilda’s internal monologue and follows her many misadventures, including elements of family and relationship drama. When a second half mystery element relating to her predecessors death raises the stakes I was vying for Gilda and her unorthodox approach to investigating all the way. There is a warmth and honesty to the writing that, despite Gilda’s dark thoughts on mortality and the fragility of human existence, makes for an often hilarious, wonderfully thoughtful and involving novel.

Rachel Hall

An interesting read following the day to day life of Gilda, a gay atheist in her 20s.

The title of this book really appealed to me and made me laugh, although I had no idea what to expect from it. It follows Gilda, a 27 year old lesbian and atheist, who somehow lands herself with a job in a Catholic church by mistake. She has a few mental health issues, which means she is quite fixated by death (which came from her finding her rabbit dead one day) and finds herself regularly at the local emergency room, so much so she knows the staff there by name.

I found Gilda a very interesting character to read about, she is quirky but also quite infuriating in some of the things she does. The book covers the mundane aspects of life and although there isn’t a lot happening in the book, it is a good read that is easy to pick up and put down again without getting confused.

Nicola Coen

One of the most unusual books I have ever read.

This is certainly an unusual story, narrated by Gilda as she tries to make sense of life and solve a mystery. Gilda comes from a dysfunctional family and I would have liked to find out more about her early life and what caused the issues with her brother. Gilda is very complex and very believable. She is surprisingly easy to warm to, thanks to Emily Austin's excellent characterisation.The book is well written and keeps the reader's attention but because it is unusual it may not be to everyone's taste. I'd certainly read books by this author in the future.

Pauline Braisher

Quirky, baffling, bizarre, and utterly unique! I loved it!

A quirky, bizarre, but utterly compelling read. A peek inside the mind of Gilda, a struggling, confused, depressed hypochondriac. She has a bad relationship with her parents and a difficult one with her alcoholic brother. She has a girlfriend who she cares about but never texts, and a man who thinks he's her boyfriend who she talks to almost daily. She's at the hospital almost every day and ends up working in a Catholic church when she's looking for a therapy session to attend. The book races along, keeping pace with Gilda's complexities and drawing the reader into her mind and her world, as baffling as it might be. I loved it!

Sarah Mills

Emily Austin Press Reviews

Introducing the bumbling, anxious, helplessly kindhearted heroine we all need right now. Gilda might be an accidental Catholic, a lapsed lesbian, and an inept receptionist, but she's awfully good at helping us reckon-hilariously, tenderly-with our impending deaths. - Courtney Maum, author of I Am Having So Much Fun Here Without You

As a queer woman whose brain can be a terrifying place, I devoured this novel about a panic-ridden lesbian who hides her sexuality to work at a Catholic Church. While the narrator is anxious beyond measure, the prose is self-assured - brisk and effortless, moving through time and space with ease. At its core, the novel is about the fragility of human life, kept fresh with an intriguing mystery and subtle moments of tenderness. Everyone In This Room Will Someday Be Dead is a dreary truth but a delightful read. - Anna Dorn, author of VAGABLONDE

Everyone in this book will touch your heart. Austin's writing is spare yet exciting, each page sparkles with keen observation about the fleeting nature of life, yes, but also our profound ability to make lasting impact on those around us. I already can't wait to read what she writes next. - Steven Rowley, New York Times bestselling author of The Editor

Anxious death-obsessed lesbians unite! I cackled and cringed in recognition while following the exploits of Gilda, who is plagued by intrusive thoughts about death and the absurdity of the human condition. Emily Austin is a unique and wry writer, and her debut novel manages to be both hilarious and profound, a winning combination. - Celia Laskey, author of Under the Rainbow

The perfect blend of macabre and funny - Buzzfeed

There's some strange magic at play here. A book about the anxiety of being someone else that possesses a genuine warmth and comfort? A book about death and depression that's laugh-out-loud funny? A book written in straightforward unadorned prose that nonetheless feels entirely distinctive? I don't know how Emily Austin does what she does, and honestly I don't care. I just want more. - Sean Adams, author of The Heap

Emily Austin's protagonist, Gilda - an atheist, animal-loving lesbian who has worried about death since childhood-spoke directly to the deepest, darkest parts of myself. Did I mention that she's also hilarious? This is not just a tender-hearted story, it swerves like a thriller, and I couldn't put it down. - SARA QUIN, band member of Tegan and Sara, co-author of New York Times bestseller High School

Dark, edgy humor and starting to buzz - Library Journal, Spring/Summer Bests

Gilda, Emily Austin's anxious and endearing hero, is a dream. It's impossible not to root for her as she navigates love, religion, mental health and everything in between. Too often our heroes are bigmouths who take up outsized space in the world. Everyone in This Room Will Someday Be Dead redefines bravery....Turn to any page in this lovely debut and you'll meet a tsunami of joy - ANDREW DAVID MACDONALD, author of When We Were Vikings

We don't deserve an author as insightful and empathetic as Emily Austin. Through the inner dialogue of Gilda, our painfully human heroine, Austin connects us with the best and worst parts of being a person while reminding us that even our darkest moments can lead to extraordinary revelations. I missed Gilda as soon as I finished the last page, and am already counting down to Austin's next book. - ANNE T. DONAHUE, author of Nobody Cares

At once hilarious and tender, quirky and dark, Everyone in This Room Will Someday Be Dead is a hugely endearing and genuinely moving novel - Ruth Gilligan, author of The Butchers

A luminous novel, whose humour, wisdom and tenderness shine through on every page.Emily Austin writes with a perfectly-gauged lightness of touch, deftly balancing perceptive musings on life and death with scenes that make you laugh out loud. Everyone in This Room Will Someday Be Dead hits that sweet spot: a fun, page-turner of a novel that engages both heart and head. I was captivated by it. - SARAH HAYWOOD, New York Times bestselling author of The Cactus

For fans of Phoebe Waller-Bridge and Halle Butler, this is a darkly funny, surprisingly tender, and weirdly charming coming-of-age novel about a young woman with so much anxiety she'd rather lie than risk hurting anyone's feelings. A comedic masterpiece of conflict-avoidance, I absolutely loved this book. - LEIGH STEIN, author of Self Care

Gilda is the anxious queer hero who I didn't know that I needed, a delightfully weird reminder that we will one day turn to dust and that yes, this is depressing, but it's also what makes life beautiful, why it's important to say what we mean, do what we want, love as best as our crooked hearts will allow us to while we still can. I will read whatever Austin puts in front of me until I'm six feet under. - JEAN KYOUNG FRAZIER, author of Pizza Girl

Everyone in This Room Will Someday Be Dead is a gentle book. This novel prompts the reader to sympathise with all those who are normally looked over or past. Emily Austin's narration is so fundamentally kind that you can feel the warmth coming off each page. - Rowan Hisayo Buchanan, author of Starling Days

Brilliant. I adored this book. Gilda is a beautiful soul - I felt at times that I was reading about myself. A honest, unflinching look into anxiety. It's also funny, sharp and touching. I can't wait to see people fall in love with it. Will be a HIT - Ericka Waller, author of Dog Days

Her characters are hilarious, relatable, exasperating, and endearing. For all readers of fiction. - Library Journal

Winner of this summer's unofficial Best Book Title competition, this grim yet funny debut novel from Emily Austin features the adventures of a morbidly anxious young woman who, for reasons too weird to explain, begins impersonating a recently deceased old lady. Recommended for fans of Mostly Dead Things and Goodbye, Vitamin. - Goodreads, 'Summer Reading: The Hottest New Books of the Season'

Other editions of this book

ISBN: 9781838953737
Publication date: 08/07/2021
Format: Hardback

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About Emily Austin

Emily Austin was born in Ontario, Canada. She studied English literature and library science at Western University. She currently lives in Ottawa. Emily Austin is also on: Instagram: @emilyraustinauthor Ticktock: @emilyraustinauthor

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