Review: Putting Makeup on Dead People

Jen Violi’s Putting Makeup on Dead People immediately comes across as both a bit morbid and witty, and it delivers on that promise all the way through. I loved this book more than I ever would have expected; it’s the kind of book I want to buy just so that I can pass it around to everyone I know.

As a child, Donna lost her father. Her memories of his death and the funeral home are vivid. While Donna struggles with her feelings about death and surviving in the wake of death, she also remembers the kind of comfort that can be provided to the family afterward. Following the death of a classmate, Donna returns to the funeral home, where she discovers that unlike everyone else she is not creeped out by the body, but intrigued by the process of getting someone ready for their final resting place.

Donna decides to attend mortuary school and get an internship at the local funeral home, but her decision is not met with acceptance or praise from her family members. They worry that she is so stuck on death that she’ll never truly live, but for Donna it seems that the life she wants is just getting started.

Putting Makeup on Dead People is a book that celebrates differences and taking a different, non-traditional (and even less socially acceptable) path in life. This is a wonderful book for anyone struggling with planning the future, dealing with family pressures, and finding your way after graduating from high school. I can’t offer enough praise for Violi’s debut; it’s a charming first book that may be off-putting to some but will hopefully find a home in the hands of those who need all it has to offer.

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13 Responses to "Review: Putting Makeup on Dead People"

  • I’ve got this one on my Kindle right now, I can’t wait to read it. I’m so glad I read your review, now I’m even more excited to read it!

    -Kate the Book Buff
    The Book Buff: Book Reviews for Regular People

    1 Kate the Book Buff said this (May 19, 2011 at 11:12 AM)


    • I hope you love it! When I finished, I wanted to give it a hug and then read it all over again 😉

      2 Melanie said this (May 19, 2011 at 11:49 AM)


  • I liked this too! How Donna felt about boys was how I felt at times, which I loved! Great review!

    3 Jacinda @ The Reading Housewives said this (May 19, 2011 at 11:20 AM)


    • I liked the relationship/romance elements, too. Who woulda thunk a book about a future mortician could have such steamy bits? 😛

      4 Melanie said this (May 19, 2011 at 11:51 AM)


  • It sounds great, I hadn’t read any reviews on it but I think I might like this one. Great review! =)

    5 cynthia said this (May 19, 2011 at 2:50 PM)


  • I’m no longer a number of wherever you might be obtaining your data, however good subject matter. My partner and i needs to spend quite some time mastering a lot more or perhaps working out much more. Thank you for excellent data I used to be in search of this review for my goal.

    6 interior designs said this (October 17, 2013 at 9:10 PM)


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