TITLE : Mrs Death Misses Death
AUTHOR : Salena Godden
GENRE : General Fiction, Literary Fiction, Fantasy
FR RATING : ⭐⭐(2 Stars)
DATE OF PUBLISHING : January 28th 2021
DISCLAIMER : Thank you, Netgalley, and Canongate Books for providing me with an ARC of this book. I am leaving this review voluntarily.
Mrs. Death Misses Death by Salena Godden is prose and poetry mixed with narration style writing, and is more of a literary style of fiction than a straight-up fantasy, in my opinion. I requested this book after reading the fascinating synopsis. The story is about Death, and how tired Death is of taking people’s lives, and the insight we get into the psyche of Death itself. The book features death as a black woman who goes after people’s lives when it is their time to die. After living the life and doing her job endlessly, she is tired and wishes to unburden her thoughts to a young, troubled writer Wolf. The book is written in part narration style and other parts in prose. The alternating perspectives help us understand Mrs. Death and Wolf and how their experiences shaped them.
The themes and concepts were interesting to read, but at the same time, the writing style and the repetitions did trigger my anxiety. I finished 70 % of the book, and I needed to put it down several times. Initially, I started the book in November and had to stop reading it, because of the hike in my anxiety. Now after, picking it up again in hopes of finishing it, I find myself not wanting to continue on the path to destroying my mental state. I am sad to say, I had high hopes for this book, and if it wasn’t for my mental health, I would have finished it by now.
The idea of death as an old black woman was interesting, and how death is also is a rabbit made sense when I read through the story. The incident of Grenfall-like fires was disturbing. There was the story of Jack The Ripper and Tilly the Tuppence was intriguing and unique.
The stream of thoughts flowing without any rule kind of took out the appreciation for me. I guess, the format is not very well suited for me. I can only say that if you love combos of different styles clubbed together bringing the readers a unique book, with essential questions, one needs to reflect upon, then this might be the book for you. Overall, the book is different and unconventional in every sense. I am giving the book, 2 stars for the 70% I read. I DNFed it, and unfortunately, I won’t be picking it up again. I would recommend trying it out and see for yourself if it is something you would like to read. This book comes out on 28th January 2021, if you are interested in this title, do keep an eye out.
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 . . .