Thursday, December 11, 2014

The Undertaker's Daughter (Kate Mayfield)

When I was growing up, I went to school with someone whose family was prominent in the funeral home business.  I was fascinated that my classmate lived above where death was an everyday occurrence.  Kate Mayfield's memoir, The Undertaker's Daughter, gives the reader a glimpse of what life is really like when your home is filled with so much grief.

Mayfield spends her entire childhood in the South living with death.  Her father is one of only a handful of morticians in small-town Jubilee, Kentucky during the racially tense 1960s. Her family valued silence and saw it all in their home through the many funerals that came through.  As Mayfield grows up, she becomes a rebellious teenager longing to escape the South, while her father is quietly hiding his alcoholism.

I was going to give this a solid 4 rating, but it does have an annoying tendency to meander a bit.  However, fans of the incomparable Six Feet Under TV show (like I am) will probably devour this, as it proves that truth can often be far more disturbing than fiction.