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Review: The Undertaker’s Daughter

November 20, 2014

The Undertaker's Daughter

When she was a young girl, Kate Mayfield’s family moved to Jubilee, Kentucky where her father opened a funeral home.  Being the funeral director in a small town gives a unique perspective to life there, and Mayfield’s family saw it all.  Her father handled it all with dignity and respect even while their family faced their own struggles.

Kate Mayfield shares her story of growing up in a funeral home – the family actually lived upstairs until she was a teen – in her memoir, The Undertaker’s Daughter.  She saw and heard much of what was going on in Jubilee but it took her a while to see what was going on in her own family.

I love to read memoirs and went into this book with very high expectations.   There is a lot to like in this book – the great writing and the setting to name a few – and I did like it a great deal but I didn’t love it the way I thought I would.  I’m not sure why, but it may have been because Mayfield’s childhood was interesting but, except for the fact that she grew up in a funeral home, it wasn’t all that unique.  Still, The Undertaker’s Daughter is well worth reading, especially if you enjoy memoirs or books set in the South.

Review copy provided by Simon & Schuster.   I am an Indiebound Affiliate.
18 Comments leave one →
  1. November 20, 2014 4:47 am

    I got this one through Netgalley. So glad I read your review as well.

  2. November 20, 2014 5:39 am

    Sounds like a memoir I might enjoy.

  3. November 20, 2014 7:24 am

    After reading the memoir The Removers, I want to try this one too — the funeral business and it’s impact on those involved kind of fascinated the “morbid” side of me:)

  4. November 20, 2014 9:04 am

    I haven’t been reading many memoirs lately, but this sounds really good!

  5. November 20, 2014 10:02 am

    I do enjoy memoirs that show the author’s growing up years…sounds like a good setting. Thanks for sharing.

  6. November 20, 2014 11:26 am

    Kathy, thanks for your honest and concise review of this memoir. I just read a graphic memoir that I enjoyed.

  7. November 20, 2014 12:26 pm

    I went to school with a girl whose family owned a funeral home, and they lived above it. I always thought that it would be creepy to live there, but she had never lived anywhere else so it didn’t bother her.

    The book sounds interesting!

  8. November 20, 2014 12:51 pm

    The title caught my attention right away. I initially thought it was a novel, but it’s even more interesting to learn it’s a memoir. I’m not sure I would have been thrilled to live upstairs a funeral home.

  9. November 20, 2014 12:55 pm

    I went on a date once with an undertaker who lived above a funeral home. His life wasn’t that interesting either.

  10. November 20, 2014 7:55 pm

    I do like books set in the South.

    Thanks for the honest review.


  11. November 20, 2014 8:26 pm

    Have you read Smoke Gets in Your Eyes yet? It is written by a lady who works in a funeral home. I haven’t read it yet but it’s gotten rave reviews.

  12. Patty permalink
    November 20, 2014 8:53 pm

    I think that you love memoirs the way I love fantasy!

  13. November 21, 2014 10:22 am

    Interesting… sounds like something a little different from the usual memoir!

  14. November 21, 2014 5:18 pm

    I dated a guy in college who worked at and lived above a funeral home. It was creepy!

  15. November 22, 2014 8:02 pm

    Great setting for sure!

  16. November 23, 2014 9:31 pm

    It seems like there would be lots of stories to tell!

  17. November 24, 2014 10:59 am

    this sounds interesting.

  18. bookingmama permalink
    December 4, 2014 10:35 pm

    Initially I thought it was a novel. How interesting but it’s a shame that it didn’t live up to your expectations.

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