Review: Working Undercover Every Day as a Straight Catholic


“Everyone in this room will die one day”, by Emily Austin (Atria)

In Emily Austin’s debut novel, “Everyone in this room will die one day,” 27-year-old Gilda is anxious, insecure and lost. She struggles to keep a job and is a massive hypochondriac, going to the emergency room several times a week.

She constantly thinks about death, the number of ways to die, and the insignificance of her own existence. She is also obsessed with making sure that her presence in the world does not adversely affect others. Daily chores are difficult for her. Often times, she can’t bring herself to answer text messages from a girl she really loves, show up for work, or even do the dishes.

One day, Gilda responds to a flyer for free therapy at a Roman Catholic church. When she arrives, the priest thinks she’s there for a job interview to replace the recently deceased receptionist. Gilda, who has just lost her job, does not correct it.

She’s hired, and now Gilda, an atheist homosexual, has to work undercover every day as a straight Catholic. But as the circumstances of the former receptionist’s death become increasingly suspicious, Gilda finds herself embroiled in a murder investigation.

Filled with dark humor, “Everyone in this room will someday be dead” is a compelling read. Gilda is very unique, but at the same time, extremely relatable. The world through his eyes is often terrifying, but it is a world that anyone who has dealt with anxiety will no doubt recognize. Through it all, Gilda’s infinitely good heart shines through, making her impossible not to seek out.

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