Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Confessions of a Deathmaiden” as Want to Read:
Confessions of a Deathmaiden
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Confessions of a Deathmaiden

3.33  ·  Rating details ·  85 Ratings  ·  17 Reviews
- CONFESSIONS OF A DEATHMAIDEN will appeal to readers of such compelling page-turners as "The Lake of Dead Languages by Carol Goodman (Ballantine Books, 1/02), "Darkness Peering by Alice Blanchard (Bantam Books,1999), and "The Skull Mantra by Eliot Pattison (St. Martin's Press, 2001).- With quotes already coming in from "New York Times bestselling author Michael Connelly, ...more
Hardcover, 339 pages
Published September 24th 2003 by Mysterious Press
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Confessions of a Deathmaiden, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Confessions of a Deathmaiden

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details
Jul 14, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
What a wonderful premise! Death maidens would be a wonderful asset. Especially such caring ones as Francis as she explores an untimely death. Loved it.
Elizabeth Williams
Jan 18, 2014 rated it liked it
If you are looking for something out of the ordinary to read, this might be a good place to start. The first thing you will notice is how beautifully written, almost poetic, the prose style is. The author's voice will sweep you easily into the story. There are some clunky moments, but you will probably forgive them, and they aren't too jarring.
The story itself is somewhat supernatural, and it is a book of ideas, almost, more than about plot. "Deathmaidens" are basically midwives, except they att
May 23, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: featured, 2015

Oh, wow!! Where to begin: sort of a mystery (altho' that's pigeon holing it too far), very much a mystical story (but not a fantasy), there's violence and brutality in places (but it's not a "noir" or adventure tale), there's fascinating travel (but it's not a travelogue), there's plenty of social commentary (but it's a story, not a treatise), and so on...
Frances Oliver is a deathmaiden (Society of Deathmaidens, sort of like midwives for the other end of life) who assists people in making that f
Jun 15, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I was impressed by was Ms. Francisco's "voice" - her writing style is absolutely amazing. It is very difficult to explain unless someone has read it, other than to say it is almost like reading a poem written as a novel, or having the book sung to you as in some ancient traditions of learning oral histories. Admittedly the main character spent way too much time running around the world and by the end of the book I wasn't exactly sure what, if anything, she had managed to accomplish; but reading ...more
Dec 16, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-in-2003
"There comes a time when a Santa Ana wind howls hot off the desert, gathering dust and toxic gases in her arms, when she slams into a cold north current over the Santa Ynez Mountains and spills her load against the horizon. At twilight, as the red sky darkens to vermilion, and as luminous white cicatrices streak across the heavens, you have, for a moment, the sense of being in a living, breathing organ."

Read our review on
Apr 01, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
This was a really good mystery. While there were times when I was thinking to myself "yeah right, any normal sane person would not do that" I thought the story line mainly believable. My only "fault" that I found with this novel was the ending. She knew they were carrying on doing "business" like usual and because she felt she rested one boys soul she could go on? It didn't make sense with the "not until I am finished" attitude she had throughout the rest of the book.

I also see a possible sequel
Sep 06, 2008 rated it it was amazing
I picked this book up on a whim at the library, and am so glad I did. It's completely different than anything I've read before. The story is unique, as is the concept of the deathmaiden. There's good archaeology, good love/sex with a twist. But, the best thing about this book is the way the author puts words together. Her descriptions are spot on, and she makes you look at things in a different way.
Jul 21, 2009 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: anyone who love medical suspense
Recommended to Julia by: bought at discount bookstore
Deathmaidens are to death what midwifes are to birth. And when one of Frances clients dies when she has stepped for only a half hour a client she was sure was going to live she must know why.
Very nice suspense thriller. Some adult situations I skipped over.
Mar 29, 2015 rated it did not like it
Very slow, with a main character who was so incredibly self-righteous that it was extremely off-putting. The author goes into so much unneeded detail that it bogs an already slow novel down to such a crawl that it was a real struggle to finish.
Oct 22, 2009 rated it did not like it
Currently reading this far it kind of blows my being a deathmaiden for real? I mean is physician/nurse - assisted suicide legal??? Sounds like murder to me....As I continue to read I will let you know what I think further.
Jul 25, 2009 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Amy M
Very interesting. It sucked me in immediately. I wasn't expecting the slight fantastical edge that the Deathmaidens have. It's very similar to what people claim to already to, but just a little more so.
Mar 01, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
An excellent book for Hospice nurses to read--it is on the kindle.
Diane Hughes
Nov 13, 2015 rated it liked it
I liked this book - couldn't put it down actually - but was a little disappointed in the ending. Everything was wrapped up neatly; no loose ends to keep me thinking.
Jan 31, 2012 rated it really liked it
I am intrigued by the plot but because I had to do something similar I wanted to explore, I will see.
Sep 21, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Very mesmerizing book. A fictional account of a deathmaiden, one who helps people pass on to their deaths. It is beautifully written.
Feb 17, 2012 rated it liked it
Reviewed for PW
rated it liked it
Apr 29, 2012
Amanda Briggs
rated it liked it
Apr 29, 2014
rated it liked it
Sep 20, 2008
Flint Boettcher
rated it really liked it
Apr 16, 2013
rated it liked it
Oct 02, 2007
rated it did not like it
Jul 21, 2012
rated it liked it
Feb 07, 2011
rated it really liked it
Apr 14, 2007
rated it liked it
Sep 15, 2009
rated it really liked it
Jan 24, 2009
rated it liked it
Nov 25, 2009
rated it it was ok
Mar 18, 2010
rated it it was ok
Apr 18, 2011
rated it it was ok
Nov 12, 2008
« previous 1 3 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
I tend to write novels that are a little controversial. I don't intend to, but a question grabs hold of my mind--Do we have a right to say no to medical technology? What would it be like to be Jackie Kennedy? Where is Islamic extremism taking us?--and it won't let go. I have to explore it, I have to write about it.

Since my interests are varied, my books are varied, perhaps too much so. But whateve
More about Ruth Francisco...

Share This Book