I'm glad to see that this book has a number of good reviews because it makes me feel better about being honest - I really did not enjoy this. Not, as you'd perhaps expect, because the subject matter was death, but because I felt as if it was just a rehash of the process the author went through to write her thesis on the subject. I did get a bit more involved about half way through when she contacted an inmate of death row, but the first half was definitely a struggle.
Ms Skjolsvik contacted funeral directors, embalmers and hospice workers. She spent idle hours at a fire station with the emergency crew, ready to go on a call out and she befriended a couple of prison inmates during the final weeks before their deaths. She also spoke to people who had lost family members, including children and then, randomly, attended the birth of her hairdresser's baby, knowing that the family had lost their first child to a choking accident.
My rating wasn't helped by the narration of my audiobook, which was jerky. The narrator kept pausing, as if looking for a word, and this drove me nuts.
One part of the book that I did find interesting was the author's battle with anxiety. Her interviews with the various subjects were not easy for her and she even went on a course to face her fears. Hopefully she benefited from the exercise, but in my opinion, making a book out of her thesis interviews was a step too far.
I should have connected with this book as I buried both my parents this summer, but it left me completely unmoved.