The Husband Who Refused to Die by Andrea Darby

Cover of The Husband Who Refused to Die

A book about widowhood and cryonics

Two things drew me to read this book:

  • firstly, as a widow myself*, I’m always interested in novels about women rebuilding their lives after bereavement
  • secondly because of its theme of cryonics, the science of freezing bodies at point of death so that they might be restored to life when a cure is found for their fatal illness.

The two threads are combined here so that when Carrie’s husband is frozen, she finds it hard to move on, as does the rest of the family.

Andrea Darby strikes a good balance, refusing to condemn or promote cryonics but building a plausible and highly readable story that encourages the reader to think long and deep about the issues. I won’t reveal details of the plot, but will say that I found the ending appropriate, neat and satisfying.

Journalist Turned Author

I knew before I started reading that the author was a former regional newspaper journalist and feature writer and wondered how effectively her writing skills might transfer across to the very different medium of the novel. She’s pulled it off very well, carrying the story through its twists and turns with convincing characters and dialogue and steady development of quite a few characters, not just the central one.

She also did heaps of research, journalist-style, even spending attending a weekend introductory course to cryonics for those who are considering it – now that’s dedication!

Recommended for…

I recommend this novel for anyone who enjoys intelligent contemporary fiction grounded in reality, and who is interested in medical ethics, which are delivered here with a light and subtle touch. This made a refreshing read following on from my previous choice, Ian McEwan’s The Children Act, which deals medical ethics relating to children – that might have been a more literary work, but I enjoyed Darby’s more, and found the characters and plot more convincing.

Andrea Darby headshot

Andrea Darby

You can keep up with Andrea Darby and her novels
by following her on Twitter at @AndreaDarby27.

* ( no sympathy needed  – I’m happily remarried for nearly 15 years, so current husband trumps the 10 happy years with the first one!)

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