Title: From Here to Eternity: Traveling the World to Find the Good Death
Author: Caitlin Doughty
Goodreads Rating: 4.27
“Adults who are racked with death anxiety are … men and women whose family and culture have failed to knit the proper protective clothing for them to withstand the icy chill of mortality.”
Are you a curious person? Do you enjoy learning about different cultures? Does your understanding of countries’ approaches to death go about as far as Dias de los Muertos? If you answered yes to any of these questions, support your local bookstore and purchase a copy of From Here to Eternity.
From Here to Eternity feels like an adventure into the unknown. Doughty takes you on a journey around the world to discover how different countries and cultures handle mortality and what their funerary practices look like. Before you think this is a morbid book… well, it is about death. But Doughty handles the topic in an approachable way with an appropriate amount of humor to lighten the mood throughout the book. Her writing style keeps you engaged and interested as she explores different countries and shares her experiences.
Before reading this book, I assumed that most countries had similar funeral processes to the United States. I was aware of Dias de los Muertos but that’s about as far as my understanding went. I figured everyone experienced some amount of fear regarding death, that handling a dead body grossed out most people, and that mortality was a topic one simply didn’t bring up in conversation. I had no idea how much I didn’t know and how wrong I was about what I thought I knew… including about Dias de los Muertos! This book is absolutely fascinating and it shines a light on a topic that I think many people would benefit from learning about. What shocked me the most was not the different practices and rituals of other cultures… but about America’s, my own country’s, approach to and stance on funerals.
If you are a curious person and you enjoy learning about different cultures, this is truly a fantastic book for you. Don’t shy away from the topic… trust Doughty to guide you along the path of mortality enlightenment.