The Household Guide to Dying

Debra Adelaide

A moving novel, charting a dying woman’s attempts to prepare her family for the future. For fans of Maggie O’Farrell and Audrey Niffenegger.

Inspired by her heroine, Isabella Beeton, Delia has made a living writing a series of hugely successful modern household guides. As the book opens, she is not yet forty, but has only a short time to live.

Preoccupied with how to prepare herself and her family for death, Delia realizes that what she really needs, more than anything, is a manual. Realising this could be her greatest achievement, she sets to work. But, in the writing, Delia is forced to confront the ghosts of her past.

Hugely original, life affirming and humorous, The Household Guide to Dying illuminates love, loss and the place we call home.

2009 Shortlist

2009 Longlist

The Prize Podcasts


Tune into Dolly Alderton, Scarlett Curtis and more on our new podcast