Many thanks to Maine blogger George Smith for his review here on GeorgeSmithMaine.com
Here’s a little of what he has to say:
“Profound…more than a great story” and “compelling…you will not put this novel down.”
from Kirkus Reviews:
“Goes beyond a cozy, small-town mystery to consider some immense and difficult matters.”
When the worst happens, would you rise or fall…
On the coast of Maine, a devastating death, a widow grappling with grief. Then, a second chance at life. This is Abby Tiernan’s story, a story of the heart. But in order to learn to live again, Abby must solve a troubling mystery.
After the death of her beloved husband, Abby hits bottom— hard. Her flickering will to live reignites when she becomes a home funeral guide, teaching the bereaved the age-old tradition of after-death care for loved ones at home. But troublesome questions arise over the death of a woman whose home funeral Abby guided. Was the death really natural? The police chief refuses to investigate what appear to be unfounded concerns of a distraught relative.
But members of the community mystified by home funerals target Abby as a suspect, and swirling rumors threaten to destroy her fledgling business and fragile spirit. Abby discovers a funeral home director and a caterer who bleed red ink when people choose home funerals, money-hungry motivation to set up Abby as a murderer. And what about the long-suffering husband? Was he ready to move on with his life before his wife was ready to die?
To save her failing business, Abby— with the help of a widower detective she feels guiltily drawn to—must uncover the truth. As Abby unmasks the murderer, and the killer sets sights on her, Abby realizes there’s one thing she wants more than anything she’s ever wanted—to live.
How this book was born…
Years ago, around the time I realized I was called to write a book that touched on the themes of love and loss, I heard about a workshop on home funerals. I knew many people who died were whisked away to a funeral home for embalming and waking. So what was a home funeral? At the workshop, I learned home funerals provide the option of caring for our loved ones after they die, just as our ancestors did, in our own homes. You wash your loved one, clothe her, and lovingly prepare her for burial or cremation. You invite friends and family to grieve in your own home.
This hit me in the heart. What a revelation, that such a heartfelt and beautiful way to say good-bye to a loved was possible. Although my mother had died years before, I had never completed grieving her. After her sudden death in a car accident, she was taken directly from the hospital to a funeral home. The next time I saw her was in her casket, made up and smiling, looking as if she might get up and walk.
I remember a feeling of unreality. How do you grieve someone who looks like she’s still alive?
After attending the workshop, I came to believe home funerals offered a peaceful, powerful alternative to caring for our dead, one that might help others grieve, and begin to heal, more quickly than I had.
In Disappear Our Dead, you’ll meet Abby Tiernan. After a crushing loss, Abby struggles to find reason to go on. Guiding others through home funerals helps her hang on, and a glimmer of hope emerges that she can learn to live again.
Accompany Abby on her journey of grief and recovery—and sleuthing—and see how her life turns out. Click on the trailer at the bottom of the page to find out more about Disappear our Dead.
Interested in learning more about home funerals?
Check out these websites for more on home funerals and related organizations:
Would you like to see a two-minute trailer? Click on this link: Disappear Our Dead