The Language of Dying by Sarah Pinborough


“She’s finding this difficult, but even she can’t hide from the fact that life will cling on, regardless of whether it’s wanted.”

Labeled as fantasy fiction, it is a raw, unflinchingly honest story of a daughter and her siblings at the deathbed of their father. The family has been withering as much as their terminally ill father, each damaged and fleshed out beautifully for a novella. There is something terrible and supernatural which takes it from being just a story of a natural process of grief and loss. What is the being or creature the narrator keeps seeing? Yet, that is not the most important part of the story. I initially thought it would be a quick read, but it was heavier so I didn’t breeze through it. I thought of family members I had lost and how it effected each person in my family, slow death is disturbing with the many emotions one experiences, it’s a different sort of loss. When will the moment come and you are never prepared, even if your loved one has been suffering.

The Language of Dying isn’t something to reach for if you’re looking for a breezy, uplifting or exciting read. This is more a gut punch, an emotional purge in all the details about her family and own terrible marriage, in the midst of dealing with the family dynamics she is facing her father’s slow vanishing. I think those who have gone through the harrowing experience of watching someone they loved slowly dying will have a far more painful journey reading this. Not to say others can’t imagine the pain of such happenings, but there are wounds that will be opened for the latter. The writing is beautiful, and the tale is disturbing because though it steps into the supernatural, the realistic moments are the most horrifying.

Public Release Date: August 2, 2016

Quercus (US)

Jo Fletcher Books




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