by Lynn Isenberg

September 2005
ISBN: 0-373-89533-X
Reviewer Graphic Button Red Dress Ink
Trade Paperback

The Funeral Planner by Lynn Isenberg is not the book I thought it was going to be. When I read the blurb I was thinking hmmmÖwhat an interesting idea. What I found when I sat down to read the book was very different.

Madison Banks went to college to learn to be an entrepreneur. This is against the family grain. Her mother, her father, and her brother are all more artistically orientated, and donít understand where Maddy, as sheís more commonly known by, got her total understanding of the business world. Their lack of understanding is okay by Maddy as she doesnít understand how they can function without even the most rudimentary knowledge of business. In all the family is close and truly loves one another.

Maddy lives in California and her closest friends and family live in Michigan. When the story opens sheís getting ready to fly home for the funeral of a close college friend. Itís while attending the funeral that Maddy gets yet another idea for a business. Why is it necessary that funerals be dull boring affairs? Funerals are for the living, so why not make them a happy affair? The idea is so strong that she canít help but blurt out some funny happy things during a tribute to her dear friend Tara.

As the story moves forward life for Maddy becomes a whirlwind of ups and downs. For me as a reader this meant up and down enjoyment of the story. As I mentioned earlier the blurb and the story donít in my opinion really match up. If I were of the mind to try my hand at being an entrepreneur I would probably have loved The Funeral Planner as it gave a lot of wonderful ideas about being a start up company.

Even when Maddy hit roadblocks the story showed how she worked around them. Maddy of course had an enemy in the book, as what good is a story without an antagonist? In the end Maddy had plenty of friends and support to help her beat the antagonist, and in fact will be able to bring her dreams to fruition.

The Funeral Planner is not a book for everyone. Itís not a story that will allow you to escape and not worry about death and taxes. It will however make you think of those things in a different light.

Reviewed in October 2005 by Sandi.

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