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Everyone in This Room Will Someday Be Dead

By Emily Austin
Everyone in This Room Will Someday Be Dead by Emily Austin digital book - Fable

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Publisher Description

In this “fun, page-turner of a novel” (Sarah Haywood, New York Times bestselling author) that’s perfect for fans of Mostly Dead Things and Goodbye, Vitamin, a morbidly anxious young woman stumbles into a job as a receptionist at a Catholic church and soon finds herself obsessed with her predecessor’s mysterious death.

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 police discover suspicious circumstances surrounding Grace’s death, Gilda may have to finally reveal the truth of her mortifying existence.

With a “kindhearted heroine we all need right now” (Courtney Maum, New York Times bestselling author), Everyone in This Room Will Someday Be Dead is a crackling and “delightfully weird reminder that we will one day turn to dust and that yes, this is depressing, but it’s also what makes life beautiful” (Jean Kyoung Frazier, author of Pizza Girl).

1602 Reviews

4.0
Thumbs Up“this was a really fun read”
Multi-layered charactersEasy to readFast-pacedRealistic setting
Believable charactersEasy to readOriginal writingRealistic settingComicalDarkThought-provokingHomophobia
Beaming Face with Smiling Eyes
Likable charactersComicalDarkThought-provoking
“This book is hilarious. I am scrolling through Instagram. My profile contains two photos. One is of a garbage can captioned “me,” and the other is of a cat I saw once. I haven’t posted anything in four years. I don’t often look at what other people post, but today I am. Today I am looking at the aging faces of my acquaintances and people who bullied me in elementary school. I look at their babies posed next to chalkboard signs that indicate the baby’s age in months. Almost every photo I scroll past is of a row of women dressed in floral summer dresses attending a baby or bridal shower. Occasionally there’s a bachelorette photo of people seeking some sad validation. For a moment, this exercise makes me feel superior to them. Somehow my picture of a garbage can makes me feel like these people should all envy me. I am above all of this; I have a higher awareness. They are all losing a game I won’t even bother playing. Once another moment passes, and I hear Eli sobbing through the walls, I realize that I wish every single one of these people felt sincerely significant and validated. I wish these horrible pictures reflected some authentically meaningful sign of their existence. “I felt directionless,” he continues. “Hopeless. I see it all the time in my clients.” “How did you fix that?” I ask. “Oh, that’s the secret.” He laughs. “It’s actually so simple. You just have to choose happiness,” he explains. “Choose happiness?” I clarify. “Easy as that!” I have chosen happiness. Out of all the emotions set out on the table, I have selected it. It is by far the superior option. It’s insane to think I would have ever picked one of those shittier emotions before—when all the while, I could have chosen shiny, shimmering, iridescent happiness. The specific chemicals that are released when we have a crush are called norepinephrine, dopamine, and endogenous opioids. I felt like time was moving quickly. I felt nostalgic for being younger, and it bothered me that I’d forgotten things. Who was my teacher in first grade? What color was my living room before my parents painted it? Who was my best friend in kindergarten? I felt like I was never in the moment I was in. I was always looking back, or worried about the future. I remember it was windy and the grass was swaying; ladybugs were clinging to the swinging blades or flying away. I felt incredibly sad and aware of how strange it was to feel so sad in such a bright, pleasant setting. I came to the realization that every moment exists in perpetuity regardless of whether it’s remembered. What has happened has happened; it occupies that moment in time forever. I was an eleven-year-old girl lying in the grass one summer. I don’t think she really cares if I’m fine. She just wants to tell me about her husband, and her house, and her plans. She wants to be validated, to feel good about herself. She wants to prove to me that her existence matters. I wonder how I can signal to her that she’s succeeded. It’s strange that I am able to give her any kind of validation. Who am I to her? Why does she care what I think of her? I don’t even remember her. I can’t think of anything she could say to me that would validate me. She could tell me I’m the most interesting, important, beautiful, successful person that she has ever laid her sorry eyes on and it would mean as much to me as if it came from someone trying to get me to join their pyramid scheme. Eleanor gags. “I couldn’t clean up someone else’s puke. No way.” “Me either,” I reply. “I have a weak stomach.” “I guess if I really, really loved them I could,” she adds. I nod. “Yeah.” Stop puking, I tell my body as it pukes. She opens the door. “Oh no, you’re sick,” she says. “I’m okay, it’s all right, don’t worry,” I say. “Go back to bed. I’m fine.” She turns the tap on and fills a glass by the sink with cold water. She hands it to me. I try to say thank you, but I can’t do anything besides throw up. She takes her elastic out of her own hair and uses it to pull my hair back. I keep trying to say that I’m okay, it’s all right, don’t worry, but every time I open my mouth I puke. She takes white towels from its basket and uses it to clean up. They asked me if I was baptized. I answered no, and they told me that was because my parents were atheists. I remember their voices deepened when they said the word “atheists” as if it were an obscenity. Being seven years old, I was inclined to take notice of swear words—so I committed the word to my memory. I spent the next three years calling people atheists, having no clue what it meant, thinking I was a cutting trash-talker. My teacher gave me an F on a spelling test, and I muttered, “What a freaking atheist.” Gemma Igmund started a rumor that I was gay, and I confronted her. “Shut your God damn atheist mouth, Gemma.” My mom made me go to bed early, and I screeched from the top of the stairs that I was living in a family of cold-blooded atheists.”

About Emily Austin

Emily Austin is the author of Everyone in This Room Will Someday Be DeadInteresting Facts About Space, and the poetry collection Gay Girl Prayers. She was born in Ontario, Canada, and received two writing grants from the Canadian Council for the Arts. She studied English literature and library science at Western University. She currently lives in Ottawa, in the territory of the Anishinaabe Algonquin Nation.  

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