Everyone in This Room Will Someday Be Dead

A Novel

Hardcover, 256 pages

Published July 5, 2021 by Atria Books.

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4 stars (2 reviews)

Gilda, a twenty-something, atheist, animal-loving lesbian, cannot stop ruminating about death. Desperate for relief from her panicky mind and alienated from her repressive family, she responds to a flyer for free therapy at a local Catholic church, and finds herself being greeted by Father Jeff, who assumes she’s there for a job interview. Too embarrassed to correct him, Gilda is abruptly hired to replace the recently deceased receptionist Grace.

In between trying to memorize the lines to Catholic mass, hiding the fact that she has a new girlfriend, and erecting a dirty dish tower in her crumbling apartment, Gilda strikes up an email correspondence with Grace’s old friend. She can’t bear to ignore the kindly old woman, who has been trying to reach her friend through the church inbox, but she also can’t bring herself to break the bad news. Desperate, she begins impersonating Grace via email. But when the …

6 editions

A touching gaze into the flow of consciousness of a twentish depressed lesbian

4 stars

Content warning suicide, violence

Everyone in This Room Will Someday Be Dead

No rating

Gilda, the main character in this story of debilitating obsessions, is a woman in her late 20s unable to get it together enough to establish a reasonable life. She checks out a therapy group at a Catholic church, is mistaken for a job applicant and is offered an administrative assistant position recently opened by the previous assistant’s death. Despite being lesbian and an atheist, she accepts. Apart from having a job, this seems like a disastrous decision, but it becomes clear further into the book, if it wasn’t already, that there’s not much that can slow her descent into despair and dissolution.

Putting someone like Gilda at the heart of a story is tricky because she’s incapable of generating plot. The plot shreds that exist are the result of other people or things bumping against her, and watching what happens: she searches for a missing cat, she’s fixed up with …