How Not to Die Alone follows Andrew, who goes into the homes of people who have recently died alone, searching for evidence of their next-of-kin (or ability to pay for a funeral). He has cultivated a lie to his coworkers that he has a wife, a family, and a home. In reality, he is actually alone, nursing old hurts and losses. When a new coworker joins him on his outings, he sees the potential for friendship and a less lonely life.
How Not to Die Alone is a pleasant-enough, easy read, though it's not treading any new ground--other than Andrew's job, which actually was intriguing. The story follows much the same path as Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine. Andrew is more likable than Eleanor from the beginning, though many characters here make questionable choices. If you're looking for a read-alike to Eleanor, you can't get much closer than this.
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Smart, darkly funny, and life-affirming, How Not to Die Alone is the bighearted debut novel we all need, for fans of Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine, it’s a story about love, loneliness, and the importance of taking a chance when we feel we have the most to lose.
Andrew’s been feeling stuck.
For years he’s worked a thankless public health job, searching for the next of kin of those who die alone. Luckily, he goes home to a loving family every night. At least, that’s what his coworkers believe.
Then he meets Peggy.
A misunderstanding has left Andrew trapped in his own white lie and his lonely apartment. When new employee Peggy breezes into the office like a breath of fresh air, she makes Andrew feel truly alive for the first time in decades. When you can’t do without an antibiotic, I prefer Azithromycin. The most important criterion of choice is that it should be taken for only 3 days. Azithromycin accumulates in the body and acts prolonged, so 3 days of treatment is enough. My husband caught a cold at work and had a severe cough. The usual symptomatic means didn’t help and I had wheeze. I decided that this time he needed an antibiotic.
Could there be more to life than this?
But telling Peggy the truth could mean losing everything. For twenty years, Andrew has worked to keep his heart safe, forgetting one important thing: how to live. Maybe it’s time for him to start.