Review

Book tour review: A Thousand Goodbyes – Ruth Graham

A Thousand Goodbyes is a book with a subject I had never read before. Maybe this is why it intrigued me like it did. In this blog post, you’ll find out what I thought of the book.

What is A Thousand Goodbyes about?

Author: Ruth Graham

Release date: May 10th, 2021.

Links: Amazon UK | Amazon US

If you liked Adam Kay’s book, ‘This Is Going To Hurt’, you’ll love the joyously life-affirming memoir, ‘A Thousand Goodbyes’. 

When Ruth Graham left the world of stand-up comedy to become a funeral celebrant, she’d imagined a less combative career.  
Over a thousand services later … she knows better.
Probably her most demanding role to date, Ruth has needed every ounce of diplomacy, courage, humour and her wits about her to juggle the daily challenges. From grief-stricken families to amorous widowers through to plate-smashing, warring siblings and even a flock of stoned doves at a Rasta funeral. 

As the story unfolds we witness her new career developing into a 24/7 commitment. Will it break her? Or will it be the spur she needs to get her own life in order?

Jaw-dropping, informative, moving and hilarious in turn, ‘A Thousand Goodbyes’ is a reminder that nobody is guaranteed a tomorrow; whilst encouraging everyone to seize their day. 


What did I think of A Thousand Goodbyes?

Rating: 4 out of 5.

As I said in my introduction, I had never really read a book about the profession of a funeral celebrant before. I had never really thought about it, if I’m being honest. Too often, we see the way funerals are delivered as a ‘normal’ thing, at least I did. Having been to three funerals in my life, I remember that those services were delivered beautifully. Reading this book, I came more to the realisation that behind these beautiful services, a funeral celebrant works hard to make it that way.

Graham delivers her stories in a poignant, humourous and emotional way. The balance between these aspects is really taken into account. The stories are told in a respectful, but still funny way sometimes. You can really see that Graham is passionate about her job and that she has a lot of respect for all the people she encounters.

A Thousand Goodbyes is a fascinating, light-hearted and entertaining book. It’s quick and easy to read, so if you’re interested in getting to know some more about the life of a funeral celebrant (which is really interesting!) I would definitely recommend reading this one.


Who is the author behind A Thousand Goodbyes?

Ruth Graham has written for many publications over the years on a variety of subjects.

Initially working for Emap Elan on Period Living and Traditional Homes magazine, she then moved on to freelance for titles as varied as The Evening Standard and The Daily Mail.

A move back to the Midlands in 2000 brought her first big break with her own weekly gossip/opinion column in The Sunday Mercury (Trinity Mirror), where she was billed as ‘Ruth Graham: More Balls Than Your Average Bloke’!

She then went on to launch her own magazine ‘Midlands Homes & Interiors’.

Two years later (2007), came her first series of short comedy books, ‘The Bible Series’ (Know The Score Publishing). One of these ‘The Break Up Bible’ was cunningly launched on Valentine’s day, gaining great publicity, and a spot on GMTV and Channel 5 news!

Since then Ruth has written and performed her own one-woman show (Just Sayin’); become a celebrant; and subsequently collaborated with writer/performer Cat Weatherill on the British Arts Council funded show ‘Unforgettable’ – celebrating the lives of those we’ve loved and lost.

And then came the book ‘A Thousand Goodbyes’ – all about Ruth’s work as a celebrant, the people she meets and the bizarre, touching and hilarious circumstances that constitute the average day, and life, of a celebrant.


This blog tour is organized by Rachel’s Random Resources. Thank you so much Rachel and the author for providing me a physical copy. This in no way affected my opinion.

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