Book review: A Trick I Learned From Dead Men, By Kitty Aldridge


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The Independent Culture

In Kitty Aldridge's hands, the familiar novelistic subject of loss takes an unusually joyous turn.

After the disappearance of their father and sudden death of their mother, Lee and his deaf brother, Ned, enter the Slough of Despond.

But then Lee starts an apprenticeship at the local funeral home and death starts to lose its sting. In a confident novel full of laugh-out-loud moments, Aldridge captures the way that grief can morph from anger to laughter in a moment. As Lee puts it: "The border is no more a border than the fences around here, it's just the other side."