336 pages; published May 2011
Donna Parisi has been living in slow motion since her father died four years ago. Now a senior in high school, she finds herself strangely drawn to a career as a mortician. She is pulled into unexpected friendships, new challenges, and finally finds the courage to take risks and face her grief.
A lot of authors have a good idea for a story, but it is a rare talent to tell that story so skillfully that that reader becomes fully engulfed in the world of the characters. Violi has written a funny, sad, hopeful, frustrating, invigorating story. I both wanted desperately to see how it would turn out, and felt sad as I approached the final pages because I already knew I would miss them.