I’m pleased to welcome you today to my stop on the blog tour for the moving and poignant The Life of Death by Lucy Booth. Thank you to Anne Cater and Unbound Books for giving me the opportunity to read and review this hauntingly beautiful book.
About the book:
One soul. One pact with the Devil. One chance at love.
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.
About the author:
Lucy Booth was born in Suffolk, moved with her family to Solihull, Cyprus and Lymm, Cheshire where she attended Manchester High School for Girls before studying Behavioural Sciences at Nottingham University. On graduating Lucy moved to London to pursue her career as a freelance producer for various top of the range adverts & music videos.
In 2011 Lucy was diagnosed with breast cancer resulting in surgery, chemotherapy and radiotherapy. Undaunted, and with the great assistance of her friends, Lucy not only continued working and writing her blog (lucifersboob.blogspot.co.uk) of her ‘cancer experience’ in a typically forthright and humorous fashion but felt the urge to write a novel. The Life of Death is the result.
In 2014 the aggressive cancer returned. However, Lucy was determined to live her life to the full and to finish her novel before she died in August 2016 at the age of 37.
She was funny, brave and an inspiration to all who knew and loved her.
The Life of Death by Lucy Booth is a hauntingly beautiful novel, made all the more poignant by the knowledge that the author herself was battling cancer at the time she wrote it and was bravely staring her own mortality in the face. A battle she sadly lost as her life was cut tragically short in 2016 at the age of just 37.
The author’s voice comes through loud and clear in this novel and you can sense Lucy’s own inner turmoil as you’re reading, something that turns The Life of Death into a book even more haunting than it otherwise might have been.
The book starts in the late 1500’s when Elizabeth, a 23 year old woman, is accused of witchcraft and sentenced to burn at the stake. A strange man comes to her and offers her a deal: her soul in return for immortality. But immortality comes at a price. Elizabeth will have to become Death itself, easing the passing of all those who die. She accepts and for many centuries carries out her role without giving the life she never lived a second thought.
Until one day the impossible happens: Elizabeth falls in love. And the only way she can be released from the deal she made is to take five lives by her own hand, each one more difficult and painful than the last.
This book is by no means an easy read. Dealing as it does in death in its many guises makes for a tense and chilling read, some of it uncomfortably so. I’m not sure I could have made some of the choices Elizabeth made, but after more than 400 years in the role of Death, who knows what I would do to try to escape from such a horrifying reality?
The Life of Death is a beautifully written and gripping read, narrated with a haunting intensity that both chills and moves you. Elizabeth jumps from death to death, person to person, allowing us a brief glimpse into each individual life that is about to come to an end. We get to share their most intimate and personal moments, including the most important one of all as they pass from this life into the next.
Beautiful, devastating and at times completely overwhelming, this is a book to be proud of. The fact that such an accomplished work of fiction will be Lucy Booth’s only published novel is heartbreaking. She wrote with such a deep empathy and understanding, I can’t help but think that she put her heart and soul into the writing of this book and it showed. A hauntingly beautiful book to remember.