The Language of Dying

Author: Sarah Pinborough

Date of Publication: 1st December 2016

Genre: Fiction

Synopsis: Five siblings come together as their dying Father reaches his final days. 

Rating: 4/5

This book was provided in exchange for an honest review. My thanks go to Sarah Pinborough, Quercus Books and Netgalley for the opportunity 

Normally I wouldn’t recommend reading something so tragic and painful as the slow demise of a Father (and in some respects of a family itself) in public. However there were several moments during the reading of The Language of Dying in which I was blissfully relieved that the pressures of being in public view were there – to stop me from falling apart altogether and bursting into tears.

This isn’t an easy read. The slow and agonizing degeneration of the Father, told with brutal honesty, was starkly portrayed. It’s difficult not to get completely caught up in the horror of it all – letting your mind wander over terrible images and the thought of the finite nature of our time in this world. Perhaps this is what also made this book a kind of morbid beauty – decaying and yet doing so with a wincing kind of elegance.

Death is the tie that binds them and yet there is more to The Language of Dying than that – a family of five very different siblings are brought together not only to face the imminent loss of their parent but also to confront once again the startling dissimilarities among themselves. Pinborough writes the brothers and sisters as if they were a shattered mirror – once part of a whole but now nothing but a pile of jagged, ill fitting pieces.

This is only for the brave. But if you can screw your courage to the sticking place then this is definitely a worthy read.


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