Tuesday, December 31, 2013

American Afterlife: Encounters in the Customs of Mourning - Review

American Afterlife: Encounters in the Customs of Mourning by Kate Sweeney

Rating:  5 Stars

Description:  Sweeney takes the reader through a tour of the history of mourning and funeral practices in the United States.  There are several interesting detours into the increase in cremation, memorial photography, roadside memorials, obituaries, and mourning clothes.  All the information is presented in a fascinating and logical manner.

Genre: Non-Fiction

My Impression:  I wasn't quite sure what to expect from this book when I got it from Netgalley to review.  I've read a few books from medical examiners that talks about the body but this books talks specifically about how those remaining deal with death.  I was really surprised with how interesting and unusual the book was.  I kept reading bits of it aloud to those around me and mentioning it in conversation.  When you consider the topic of this book that's pretty impressive.  Sweeney presented a wide variety of information in a way that was both extremely informative and retainable.  I kind of feel like I'm an expert on funerary practices at the moment.  I'm not sure when that will come in handy but if you want to know the differences in handling grief over the last 100 years I'm your girl.  Sweeney is going on my short list of authors to keep an eye on.  If she managed to make the subject of death fascinating, non-morbid and non-judgmental she could probably make just about any subject fascinating.

Would I Read More of this Series/Author?: Yes

Would I Recommend this Book?:  Yes

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