This year I’m trying to focus on reading newer book releases alongside finishing series that have been on my TBR for a while. It’s a interesting juggling act!
Today I’m reviewing Mrs Death Misses Death by Salena Godden, which was released by Canongate Books on the 28th of January. Many thanks to Canongate Books for sending me this eproof to review!
Mrs Death tells her intoxicating story in this life-affirming fire-starter of a novel
Mrs Death has had enough. She is exhausted from spending eternity doing her job and now she seeks someone to unburden her conscience to. Wolf Willeford, a troubled young writer, is well acquainted with death, but until now hadn’t met Death in person – a black, working-class woman who shape-shifts and does her work unseen.
Enthralled by her stories, Wolf becomes Mrs Death’s scribe, and begins to write her memoirs. Using their desk as a vessel and conduit, Wolf travels across time and place with Mrs Death to witness deaths of past and present and discuss what the future holds for humanity. As the two reflect on the losses they have experienced – or, in the case of Mrs Death, facilitated – their friendship grows into a surprising affirmation of hope, resilience and love. All the while, despite her world-weariness, Death must continue to hold humans’ fates in her hands, appearing in our lives when we least expect her . . .
I founding this book really interesting to read, a tad confusing at times and completely made me re-think the narrator and what was going on but it was really interestingly written – a mixture of poetry and prose. A very abrupt ending though, left me wondering what happened? Or is the reader supposed to come up with their own conclusion?
Star Rating – 3 Stars
The first thing I’m going to mention is the mixture of style of writing in the book. We jump from prose to poetry quiet regularly and the narration of each section changes from Mrs Death telling stories and singing to Wolff writing things down or recounting past memories, but I didn’t find it bothered me all that much. The poetry was quick to read and I found it quite easy to figure out whose thoughts was currently being spoken about, although towards the end I did find this blurred somewhat.
I felt like the book was funny, sad, intriguing and mad at various times during the book. It flipped from one mood to another, much how I thought the character Wolff did. But the stories told were interesting and the way the character looked at the world and how Mrs Death told him things was a really interesting aspect to the story.
The only thing I would say is the ending surprised as it felt very abrupt and left me wondering what happened, what had happened to the characters and where they’d gone. But I did wonder if this was deliberate and the reader was supposed to come up with their own conclusion? Would be interested to know what you think on this subject!
As always, let me know in the comments below if you’ve read the book and what you thought of it. And if you haven’t, will you be adding it to your TBR pile this year?