02 Aug

Putting Makeup on Dead People by Jen Violi

Jen Violi’s book, Putting Makeup on Dead People, is the story of a girl who wants to become a mortician.  Rather macabre wouldn’t you say.  The story is anything but depressing and dark.  Donna Parisi is stuck and has been for four years since her father died.  She has no direction and really hasn’t dealt with her grief.  She has many friends, participates in the church’s plays, has a boyfriend, almost, and wants to go to mortician’s school.  Her mother doesn’t understand and forbids it, wanting her to go to the local college.  Donna takes a job at the same funeral home where her father’s wake was held nearly four years ago and eventually moves into the spare room.  Interspersed in the story are one page ‘obituaries’ with comments by Donna.  I like the fact that Violi takes a dark subject, death, and creates a story that is anything but.  A really unique story well worth the read.