Excerpt from Happier Endings by Erica Brown, plus links to reviews, author biography & more

Summary |  Excerpt |  Reviews |  Beyond the Book |  Readalikes |  Genres & Themes |  Author Bio

Happier Endings

A Meditation on Life and Death

by Erica Brown

Happier Endings
  • Critics' Opinion:

    Readers' Opinion:

     Not Yet Rated
  • First Published:
    Apr 2013, 352 pages
    Apr 2014, 416 pages

  • Rate this book

Book Reviewed by:
Stacey Brownlie

Buy This Book

About this Book

Print Excerpt

Clearly they know something that we don't. I wanted to know their trade secret, so I called.

"Best Price. Can I help you?"

"I want to know what to say to a funeral home if I order a casket from you."

"Let me put you through to sales." I waited for a long time on hold (but not an eternity!), since I could save thousands—and if we're talking about an eternity then a few more minutes wouldn't really matter. When a saleswoman did pick up, I repeated the question and listened to her answer.

"Ask for an itemized price list and then compare prices. It's like a car dealership. You don't go in there acting like you've got a lot of money. Get the best price while obviously getting what you think your loved one wants. A lot of them [funeral homes] are used to it by now because there are a lot of online dealers. They're losing money. If you get an itemized price list, they can't try to compensate for the loss of the casket fee. They can't overcharge you at that point." In other words, if you do tell a funeral home up front that you're buying a casket elsewhere, they may try to make up the difference in other associated burial fees. The itemized list is the key. The woman in sales closed her presentation with an acknowledgment of the difficulty: "If you've never dealt with it, it can be a really high-pressure sale."

She asked me where I was from and said that they ship to my local airport once a week. "We ship all over the United States. It's no problem getting a casket to you within a day."

I think I'll wait.

Excerpted from Happier Endings by Erica Brown. Copyright © 2013 by Erica Brown. Excerpted by permission of Simon & Schuster. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" backstories
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year
  • More about membership!

Beyond the Book:
  The Ethical Will

Support BookBrowse

Become a Member
and discover your next great read!

Join Today!

Editor's Choice

  • Book Jacket: Crossing the Horizon
    Crossing the Horizon
    by Laurie Notaro
    In Crossing the Horizon, Laurie Notaro takes us back to a time when flying was a rare and risky ...
  • Book Jacket
    Auntie Poldi and the Sicilian Lions
    by Mario Giordano
    Munich matron and self-described worldly sophisticate, Isolde Oberreiter, has decided to retire to a...
  • Book Jacket: Of Arms and Artists
    Of Arms and Artists
    by Paul Staiti
    In the late eighteenth-century, the United States of America was still an emerging country, ...
Book Discussions
Book Jacket
The Bone Tree
by Greg Iles

An epic trilogy of blood and race, family and justice.

About the book
Join the discussion!

First Impressions

  • Book Jacket

    Les Parisiennes
    by Anne Sebba

    How the women of Paris lived, loved, and died under Nazi occupation.

    Read Member Reviews

Win this book!
Win The World of Poldark

Win the book & DVD

Enter to win The World of Poldark and the full first series on DVD.


Word Play

Solve this clue:

One S D N M A S

and be entered to win..

Books that     

 & enlighten

Visitors can view some of BookBrowse for free. Full access is for members only.

Join Today!

Your guide toexceptional          books

BookBrowse seeks out and recommends books that we believe to be best in class. Books that will whisk you to faraway places and times, that will expand your mind and challenge you -- the kinds of books you just can't wait to tell your friends about.


Free Weekly Newsletter

Keep up with what's happening in the world of books:
Reviews, previews, interviews and more!

Spam Free: Your email is never shared with anyone; opt out any time.