I’ve been tearing through some great books lately, so today you get to hear about another one:) Another good friend and critique partner Myrna suggested I read KETURAH AND LORD DEATH, and I’m glad she did. It’s a few years old, and I haven’t heard a lot about it around the blogosphere.
The storyline is fairly simple: Keturah meets Lord Death in the forest after being lost for several days. He tells her he is there to collect her soul, so to buy herself a little time, she tells him a story. But she doesn’t finish it; in exchange for the story’s ending, she asks for one more day of life. She wants a chance to find her true love. Lord Death grants Keturah’s wish, and as one day becomes two, then three, Keturah learns a few things about life--and love.
What begins as a charming fairy tale ends as a deeply personal allegory on the part of the author, and that’s what really hooked me. I tend to read the Acknowledgments first these days (I’m always on the hunt for a few good agents), so I knew that Ms. Leavitt’s sister, who died of cystic fibrosis as a child, was a major source of inspiration for the book. To quote Ms. Leavitt’s own words, “Now, as a mother and grandmother, I realize what a long journey dying must be for a child to make alone. I wish I could have walked with her a little way. This book is my way of doing so.”
If you like vibrant, soul-deep romance and heart-achingly beautiful prose, you’ll love KETURAH AND LORD DEATH. And for those of you who’ve read it, feel free to share your thoughts in the comments (even if they disagree with mine).