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Penguin: Adult Hardcover & Trade Paperback Summer 2019

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Death and Other Happy Endings
A Novel
By (author): Melanie Cantor
9780525562115 Hardcover English General Trade FICTION / Women Jul 09, 2019
$35.00 CAD
Active 5.9 x 8.6 x 1.1 in 352 pages Viking Pamela Dorman Books
There’s nothing like being told that in three months you’ll be dead to make you think about what you really want in life

“A novel about self-discovery, with plenty of surprises and a snappy, Bridget-Jones-gets-a-terminal-diagnosis vibe.” -Booklist


Jennifer Cole has just been told that she has a terminal blood disorder and has just three months to live—ninety days to say goodbye to friends and family, and to put her affairs in order. Ninety days to come to terms with a diagnosis that is unfair, unexpected, and completely unpronounceable. Focusing on the positives (she won’t have to go on in a world without Bowie or Maya Angelou; she won’t get Alzheimer’s or Parkinson’s like her parents, or have teeth that flop out at the mere mention of the word apple), Jennifer realizes she only has one real regret: the relationships she’s lost.

Rather than running off to complete a frantic bucket list, Jennifer chooses to stay put and write a letter to the three most significant people in her life, to say the things she wished she’d said before but never dared: her overbearing, selfish sister, her jelly-spined, cheating ex-husband, and her charming, unreliable ex-boyfriend—and finally tell them the truth.

At first, Jennifer feels cleansed by her catharsis. Liberated, even. Her ex-boyfriend rushes to her side and she even starts to build bridges with her sister Isabelle (that is, once Isabelle’s confirmed that Jennifer’s condition isn’t genetic). But once you start telling the truth, it’s hard to stop. And as Jennifer soon discovers, the truth isn’t always as straightforward as it seems, and death has a way of surprising you….

Story Locale: England

GREAT SELLING HOOK: What would you do if you thought you had only 90 days to live…and then found out it wasn’t true, after you’d made the bold moves you’d never had the courage to before?

SPOT-ON COMMERCIAL FICTION: This is a rom-com with great girlfriends and a hilarious, self-deprecating heroine. This is commercial fiction at its best—it’s funny and poignant with a very strong, dry, narrative voice.

PERFECT FIT FOR BOOK CLUBS: The humor and heart of the book in combination with larger themes of life and death, and what really matters in the end, make this a shoo-in for women’s book clubs.

FABULOUS AUTHOR: Cantor’s narrative voice is very true to her own sensibility: deadpan, self-deprecating, and up for anything—not to mention she’s basically a fashion guru (she was hand-picked on the London tube to be featured in Dove’s 2018 campaign)!

INSPIRED BY AUTHOR’S OWN EXPERIENCE: Cantor herself wrote a very honest letter to an inconsiderate ex-boyfriend, which sparked the idea that someone who was dying might seek that same catharsis and brave the candor they’d never previously dared.

Melanie Cantor worked for many years in PR and as a celebrity talent agent, and has dabbled in interior renovations, which led to her hosting a UK TV series where she tidied up people’s messy houses. She has since concentrated on writing; Death and Other Happy Endings is her first published novel. She has two grown up sons, a dog and lives in London.

Author Residence: London, UK

Marketing: Online Advertising

Social Media and Online Promotion

Twitter / Instagram



Publicity: Print and online reviews and features

Blog outreach



Author Social Media: Twitter: @MelanieCantor; Instagram: @Melanie.Cantor

Praise for Death and Other Happy Endings:



“[An] accomplished debut…Twists push the story in intriguing directions, and the clever, personable voice of Jennifer is like that of a witty friend with a bad news/good news story to tell, resulting in a moving novel with a surprisingly playful edge.”-Publishers Weekly

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