In the Event of Death: A Novel


“In this poignant and relatable story, Kim Young explores one woman’s struggle to come to terms with a childhood trauma that threatens to cripple her just when her family needs her most. In the Event of Death will make you laugh and cry, challenge the way we think about death, and rejoice in a family’s resilience.”

—Tracey Lange, New York Times bestselling author of We Are the Brennans

When the 2008 Recession crushes their splashy events business in Silicon Valley, Liz Becker and Gabbi Rossi pivot to producing funerals and memorials—praying that death can breathe new life into their venture and keep their families afloat.

Planning a memorial with flowers, music, and food isn’t that different from a wedding, right? But Liz has had a crippling fear of death since losing her younger sister in a childhood tragedy. Knowing her husband and twin sons depend on her income, she reluctantly agrees to produce end-of-life events. As Gabbi promised, the money starts rolling in. When an old real estate tycoon hires them to plan his “after party,” Liz finds an unlikely mentor. Just as things are looking up, she learns that someone she loves has a serious illness. Death planning gets personal. In confronting her deepest fears, Liz uncovers secrets from the past about her mother and the loss of her beloved little sister.

 In the Event of Death is that rare novel that is both hilarious and heartbreaking. Young perfectly captures the angst of middle age in this beautifully written story where one woman—sandwiched between her unpredictable teenagers and ailing parents—realizes she can’t hold everything together and might as well embrace the messiness of life.” —Malena Watrous, author of If You Follow Me

“The characters are well realized, with lives that are plausible in today’s world. The Bay Area setting contributes to the overall storytelling. This is a nice addition to a women’s-fiction collection and would be a good book-club title.” —Danise Hoover, Booklist