For half a century Everald Compton has been an active and passionate advocate for Voluntary Assisted Dying (VAD), campaigning for the right to make a choice as to whether or not people may end their lives this way.
Now Everald has written a fascinating novel that tells the story of four very different people facing death, and within each he finds the humane and very human story of coming to terms with the end of one’s life.
Three practice Christianity, although quite differently. The fourth is an Atheist. They share a doctor, a Muslim woman.
People who have a role in their lives are Jewish, Buddhist and Confucian.
The local Anglican Bishop is an African Matabele and their lawyer an eminent citizen on the fringes of religion.
Powerful is the word to describe the ending.
Read this book and you will gain a clearer understanding of Voluntary Assisted Dying than if you attend a dozen learned lectures on it. You may also be moved to happily plan your own ideal final curtain call.
Everald is aged 89, proudly Australian, and ready, if circumstances dictate it, to end his life by VAD.
A Beautiful Sunset is a compelling read, an extraordinarily well constructed story. The talkshow scene is very powerful, almost as powerful as the final scene, and the story of Captain Oates is a great introduction. This book will play an important role in the upcoming debates on Voluntary Assisted Dying which will take place in three Australian State Parliaments this year, 2021. A Beautiful Sunset will be more persuasive than public speeches and media interviews.
— John Harrison, PhD, School of Communication and Arts, University of Queensland
Novels are a wonderful tool with which to engage hard subjects and there is no harder subject to tackle than dying. Through the use of fictional, but recognisable characters, Everald masterfully pierces hallowed stereotypes, leaving the reader with the paradoxical truth that to embrace one’s own dying is to live more fully.
— George Browning.
Everald is once again at the cutting edge of one of the most contentious subjects of our time. We will all be hearing a lot more about Voluntary Assisted Dying and this excellent book canvases the many complex issues involved. As ever, you will be in no doubt as to what Everald thinks, but he leaves us well armed to make our own conclusions.
— Greg Cary, Writer and Broadcaster.