Well what would you do if you found out you had 90 days to live? Death and Other Happy Endings is nothing like as grim as that sounds.

I was reminded of the opening to that Richard Curtis movie in which we see a sequence of people all arriving at Heathrow Airport, hugging and greeting one another, seemingly demonstrating the power of love. In the film the narrator (Hugh Grant) tells us that no one during 9/11, when faced with the prospect of death, left messages of hate or revenge. So it was with some interest to me that Cantor’s lead character Jennifer, upon hearing of her own imminent demise, decides to write to all the people in her life who have hurt her in some way. Who wouldn’t love that idea? How good it would feel to let rip on those who have disappointed you in life, safe in the knowledge that you may not have to face the repercussions of that brutal honesty!

“Jennifer’s been a good person all her life, she’s been the sort of person who’s held her counsel, who’s done the right thing by people and never really said, ‘That hurt me.’ And this is her moment.”

What follows is far from a melancholic tear-fest but instead an amusing romp through lifelong friendships, disastrous relationships and narcissistic family members. I spoke to a wonderfully honest and fun Melanie Cantor about what it feels like to live life as if there were no tomorrow, and she reveals what she would do with her last 90 days…


Melanie Cantor was a celebrity agent and publicist for over thirty years, with clients including Ulrika Jonsson, Melinda Messenger and Melanie Sykes. In 2004, she hosted a makeover show on Channel 4 called Making Space and in 2017, having just turned 60, she was scouted on King’s Cross station to appear as a ‘real model’ for a Dove campaign. She turned her hand to writing in 2008, and attended the Faber Academy novel-writing course led by Joanna Briscoe. Death and Other Happy Endings, her first published novel, is out now in hardback, eBook and audio download from Bantam Press/Transworld Digital.
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Katherine Nathan is Executive Creative Director & CEO at RATCHET, and video content editor at Bookanista.