One Last Dance: My Life in Mortuary Scrubs and G-strings by Emma Jane Holmes

 ‘I’m not that unusual. There are double lives taking place all around us.’

What makes Ms Holmes’s memoir unusual is the particular double lives she lived. I do not think that too many people combine exotic dancing and work in the funeral industry. Ms Holmes did for a while.

Working in the funeral industry was Ms Holmes’s dream job, an opportunity to provide respectful care for the dead in preparation for their funerals. But when her marriage broke down, mounting bills had her looking for a way to make more money. As Madison, Emma Jane began a career dancing on stage.

Two essentially taboo industries: death and exotic dancing. I learned quite a bit about both from reading this book. I also realised, as did Ms Holmes, that the two jobs could not be compatible in the longer-term. And so, Ms Holmes made a choice.

Brava, Ms Holmes, for writing about your experiences. I was interested to read about your experiences in the funeral home, about the many and varied aspects of the work involved. While I was less interested in the exotic dance world, I learned a bit about that world as well. I especially enjoyed the candour and humour in this book.

Jennifer Cameron-Smith