The Extraordinary Deaths of Mrs. Kip

The Extraordinary Deaths of Mrs. Kip

Written on 08/10/2022
Sonya VanderVeen Feddema

Mrs. Clara Kip is 79 years old and dying, but her focus is on living life for God and sharing the gospel with all she meets, even the other hospice patients in the Sacred Promise Senior Care Center. Mrs. Kip has lived a sacrificial, adventurous life, yet she considers it “exceedingly unimpressive.” When Aidyn Kelley, a young, frustrated reporter is sent by her angry editor to write an obituary for the old woman—an unlikely and uncomfortable assignment—Mrs. Kip and Aidyn begin an awkward question-and-answer session to determine the facts of Mrs. Kip’s life. As the time allotted for the assignment is extended, Mrs. Kip suggests a unique format for their sessions. The two form an improbable bond as Mrs. Kip seeks to help Aidyn grow in faith, and Aidyn learns the story behind her assignment and begins to live deeper into the truth that God is in control of her life.  

The Extraordinary Deaths of Mrs. Kip offers detailed, realistic insight into the physical indignities faced by aging and dying people. Author Sara Brunsvold expertly weaves into her narrative the story, based on historical facts, of the Laotian refugee resettlement effort in Kansas City, Kans., in the mid-1970s and shows how God led Christians to offer hospitality and love to the newcomers. Brunsvold also briefly probes the injustices perpetrated by the United States government when, at the end of the Vietnam War, it abdicated its responsibility to Laotians who supported the American military during the war.  

Alongside the perceptiveness and wisdom this novel for adults offers, the narrative is at times overwritten as it repeatedly states biblical truths and mentions prayers to develop characterization and move the plot along. (Revell)