Title: The Extraordinary Deaths of Mrs. Kip
Author: Sara Brunsvold
Major Themes: Death, Love, Refugees
Synopsis: When a cub reporter in trouble is sent to a nursing home to write an obituary for an old woman dying of cancer, she finds a lot more than she ever imagined.
A few weeks ago, I was browsing through a list of books available to review, and The Extraordinary Deaths of Mrs. Kip caught my eye. Wait a minute—extraordinary deaths? Plural? What in the world? Somehow, the title sounded familiar, so I looked closer. Someone whose blog I follow had read the first few chapters of the book a while ago, and highly recommended it, so I decided to try out this book with the strange title. By the time I had read the first chapter, I was hooked. I could hardly put this book down!
Mrs. Kip has just been diagnosed with cancer, and she is on her way to a hospice facility as the story opens. She knows that she will never leave the facility, but she is finding adventure in every way possible, both on the way to the place and after she arrives. I was laughing out loud at some of the things she had to say and the way she handled the people who were trying to take care of her.
Aidyn Kelley is a cub reporter, trying to make a name for herself. She is determined to rise to the top of her profession. However, her ambition has landed her in deep trouble and now she has been given the assignment of writing an obituary for Mrs. Kip, who appears to be an unremarkable old woman in a nursing home. Once she arrives there, unwilling to look at or spend time with dying people, she tries to interview Mrs. Kip. However, Mrs. Kip takes over the conversation. She can see that God has sent Aidyn to her for a reason—and she is going to make sure that she speaks the words that the young woman needs to hear. Somehow, Aidyn gets hold of the story of Mrs. Kip’s involvement with Laotian refugees. Her life is changed forever by her conversations with Mrs. Kip.
What a book! I was surprised when I discovered that The Extraordinary Deaths of Mrs. Kip is a debut novel. Sara Brunsvold has woven a beautiful story with amazing truths throughout it. I fell in love with Mrs. Kip within the first chapter. Then, when the scene shifted from a woman dying of cancer to a cub reporter getting herself into hot water, I couldn’t stop reading. There are so many layers in the story—I love books like this! This book made me laugh over and over—and at the same time, I found myself amazed at the wise sayings sprinkled throughout. What especially stood out to me were statements like, “We should never underestimate the life-changing gift of friendship,” and “I did my utmost to leave in my wake the love Jesus first gave me.” I highly recommend this book to everyone.
I received a review copy of this book from NetGalley, and these are my honest thoughts about it.
WARNING: Two deaths are described.
Reading Independently—Ages 15 and Above, Adults