The Life of Death by Lucy Booth hits home with both its heart-warming and soul-crushing messages.
In 1590, I sold my soul to the devil. I was twenty-three.
Elizabeth Murray has been condemned to burn at the stake. As she awaits her fate, a strange, handsome man visits her cell. He offers her a deal; her soul in return for immortality, but what he offers is not a normal life. To survive, Elizabeth must become Death itself.
Elizabeth must ease the passing of all those who die, appearing at the point of death and using her compassion to guide them over the threshold. She accepts and, for 500 years, whirls from one death to the next, never stopping to think of the life she never lived.
Until one day, everything changes. She – Death – falls in love.
Desperate to escape the terms of her deal, she summons the man who saved her. He agrees to release her on one condition: that she gives him five lives. These five lives she must take herself, each one more difficult and painful than the last.
It is strange, but I loved it
How GOOD does this synopsis sound?! I can confirm that The Life of Death is as good as I expected it to be.
The meaning behind this title is all too powerful. We follow the journey of a girl who has made a deal with the Devil, in which we learn about other’s stories, and those who are affected by Death’s decisions.
I’m confident in saying that there is at least one part in here which will hurt you to read. Some parts are not as bad as others, and I think it all depends on the reader’s experience, but what seems like a straight-forward (albeit sinister) read, is actually heart-warming in places, and crushing in others.
From the first page, I knew I was going to love this book. I’d made up my mind so soon based on the writing style and how it gripped you and wouldn’t let you go. The first three pages warrant a nod of respect towards Booth.
I got a sort of The Five People You Meet in Heaven vibe, but from a darker perspective. If you’re someone who’s not a fan of unbelievable fiction, this might not be for you. I think it’s a book which requires the reader to have an open-mind. It is strange, but I loved it. Well executed, creating a beautiful tale. There are lot of different elements for you to analyse too, so get your thinking hats on.
I really couldn’t see where this book was going, and when those pages were slipping by, I was just heartbroken. It really only felt like I’d read 50 pages, and I wanted hundreds more, but that’s just because I didn’t want to see the end and I’m greedy.
Lucy Booth passed away in 2016, and her wish was to have The Life of Death published posthumously, and this just hurts my soul even more, especially with the underlining theme presented in this book. Be right back, I’m crying.
The Life of Death, Lucy Booth, RRP £9.99 (paperback); Book Depository