The first section of the book examines the space in which death takes place; the way a life shifts gears to accommodate the dying. In her Travel Notes About Death, the writer draws out the beauty of existence: the wild cherry trees, the swallows overhead. The world around us becomes heightened, sensual, and this is only because death is drawing in.
Death is a difficult subject to approach with levity, yet there is a quiet grace to Marques's writing which prevents the book from indulging misery. The people she meets have their own stories: lives cut short at too young an age, children left behind to make sense of a world without their parent. Importantly though, this book is as much about family as it is about dying; the daughters who flail in the wake of their father's death, the large family which carries on. Now And At The Hour Of Our Death is a beautifully crafted, powerful meditation on the nature of existence.