She’s in a Better Place, by Angela Hunt (Tyndale House Publishers, 2009)
“One of the surest ways to know you’re ready to be a full-time funeral director is when you start talking to clients.” (p. 2)
So says Gerald Huffman, Jennifer Graham’s gentle mentor, when he catches her reassuring the corpse she’s working on.
Jen is a single mom with two school-aged sons and an unusual occupation: she owns a funeral home. She also shares her mother’s tendency to interfere—er, “help”—if relationships need mending, and so when Gerald becomes ill, Jen contacts his estranged daughter, Kirsten. Contact is one thing, but reconciliation proves to be another.
I like Jen, and one reason is her humanity. She’s a good mother and friend, who doesn’t always get it right. This lesson about trusting God to work things out is one she’s faced before. she may face it again, but she’s learning. Sound like anyone you know?
She’s in a Better Place is written in the present tense, which I find jarring. It’s by turns funny, sad and thoughtful, and it’s a good read. Don’t start here, though, if you haven’t read the previous books in the series.
You’d have no trouble picking up the ongoing story of Jennifer and her family, but where each novel builds on the previous, starting with book 3 would ruin the surprises in the first two. If you can, take time to begin with Doesn’t She Look Natural and then She Always Wore Red.
She’s in a Better Place brings the series to a satisfying conclusion, but there’s definitely room for another story. I hope we get one!
Best-selling, Christy-award winning author Angela Hunt has written over 100 books and is a favourite of many readers. You can learn more about Angela on her website, and she has a readers’ page on Facebook.