Book Review: Keturah and Lord Death

I realized it’s been quite a while–a long while–since I’ve reviewed a book on here. Part of the reason is I really don’t have time. The other part of the reason is I have trouble finding books I like. But this afternoon I took some time to curl up in the sun and read a book and, wonder of wonders, I liked it. So now you get to hear about it 🙂
I don’t remember where I heard mention of Keturah and Lord Death by Martine Leavitt, but it sounded interesting and, as a Young Adult novel, was short enough to comfortably read in one sitting. The basic premise is perfectly reasonable in the world of fairy tales but otherwise bizarre: Keturah gets lost in the woods and wanders until she collapses. But when Lord Death comes to collect her she tells him the (brief) story of her life but refuses to finish it, pointing out that it doesn’t have an ending yet since she’s still looking for the true love she’s always dreamed of. Lord Death agrees to give her one more day to find her true love and finish her story, with the added bonus that if she succeeds in finding said love of her life, he’ll let her go. Keturah leaves the meeting determined to not only find her true love but help as many other people as possible also cheat death.
The ending is not altogether unanticipated–how many possible outcomes are there when the first chapter includes an agreement to find true love or die?–but the book is gracefully written and enjoyable, with a certain dreamlike quality. Surprisingly in a book that centers around death, the story is not at all morbid although it is bittersweet. Keturah is desperate to find love and thwart Lord Death, but more than anything she learns to appreciate life and those around her in the context of possibly losing them. And I don’t think I’ve met any other personifications of Death that I just wanted to give a hug.
My dad used to describe books he very much liked as “a tale well told.” Keturah and Lord Death falls into that category.

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2 Responses to Book Review: Keturah and Lord Death

  1. RG says:

    So where do I find this story? Library? Your house? Why the name Keturah? Seems a weirdish sort of choice for a second wife… And hugging a lovable Death? Hmmmm…. This comment is by JCG, despite what it may tell you…

    • literarydelights says:

      It’s at my library or available on Amazon. No clue about the choice of Keturah–the author was probably trying to choose an unusual name on purpose.

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