Mrs. Kip has just moved in to the hospice wing of an assisted living facility in Kansas City. Despite her terminal diagnosis, she ministers to everyone around, living out her faith as she has always done. Rules don’t apply to her; if she feels called to visit a resident across the hall she grabs her cane, leaves her call button behind, and goes to read the Bible to her dying neighbor.
Aidyn is a young journalist chomping at the bit to make her mark at the Kansas City newspaper. Her eagerness gets her in trouble, though, and she is assigned to (prematurely) write an obituary for Mrs. Kip, whom she has never met. Aidyn prays for guidance but stubbornly views her obituary assignment as a means to an end: she is determined to write the obituary and get back into her editor’s good graces.
Mrs. Kip agrees to the interview, but on the condition that Aidyn earn her questions. With a twinkle in her eye she stipulates that for every “extraordinary death” Aidyn makes up, she can ask three questions of Mrs. Kip. Eventually, Aidyn learns that there is more to Mrs. Kip than an old lady dying of cancer.
I loved how the relationship developed between the young reporter at the beginning of her career and the elderly woman at the end of her life. The historical parts in The Extraordinary Deaths of Mrs. Kip are based on real events. Author Sara Brunsvold tackles some pretty intense topics — death, cancer, and international politics — through the lens of the characters’ Christian faith. I found this book to be a quiet, compelling read with lots of spirit and inspiration.