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Death in Her Hands

3.74  ·  Rating details ·  62 ratings  ·  24 reviews
FROM ONE OF OUR MOST CEASELESSLY PROVOCATIVE LITERARY TALENTS, A NOVEL OF HAUNTING METAPHYSICAL SUSPENSE ABOUT AN ELDERLY WIDOW WHOSE LIFE IS UPTURNED WHEN SHE FINDS A CRYPTIC NOTE ON A WALK IN THE WOODS THAT ULTIMATELY MAKES HER QUESTION EVERYTHING ABOUT HER NEW HOME.

While on her normal daily walk with her dog in the forest woods, our protagonist comes across
...more
Hardcover, 272 pages
Expected publication: April 21st 2020 by Penguin Press
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  • Death in Her Hands by Ottessa Moshfegh
    Death in Her Hands
    by
    Release date: Apr 21, 2020
    The haunting new book from the author of My Year of Rest and Relaxation.

    While on her normal daily walk with her dog in the nearby forest w
    ...more

    Format: Print book

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    Availability: 15 copies available, 2220 people requesting

    Giveaway dates: Nov 10 - Dec 10, 2019

    Countries available: U.S.

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    Average rating 3.74  · 
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     ·  62 ratings  ·  24 reviews


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    Read By RodKelly
    Oh, the terrible wonders of the mind...

    Death in Her Hands is a dark & layered novel that lulls the reader into the crumbling psyche of an incredibly lonely & depressed protagonist, desperately trying to free her mind & expunge the painful memories that she tries to bury within a labyrinth of half-truths & alternate history. She is a woman powerless over her mind yet dependent on it to conjure a reality she can believe in; that she can survive in. At length, she reflects on a life
    ...more
    Jillian Doherty
    Jun 18, 2019 rated it it was amazing
    I was elated to discover we have a new Ottessa novel coming this spring!!

    I may have an author crush on her - I'd read a grocery store list if she wrote it ;)

    I feel like most of her stories have an essence of other authors...
    Eileen was very Shirley Jackson
    Rest and Relaxation was Chuck Palahniuk
    Death in Her Hands is a combo of Olga Tokarczuk's Drive Your Plow Over the Bones of the Dead, and the inventive story telling that hearkened from Girl on the Train!

    I co
    ...more
    truedeceiver
    Sep 13, 2019 rated it it was amazing
    Dark and twisted. A woman come undone in the wilderness. Haunted by many ghosts. Pursued by a mystery. The mind is a terrible wonderful thing and Moshfegh knows it very well.
    Dianah
    Oct 14, 2019 rated it it was amazing
    Ottessa Moshfegh spins out an intricate, layered character study in Death in Her Hands. Vesta is far from a reliable narrator, so her inner monologue of finding a clue to what she believes may be a murder is fraught with conflict, obsfucation, both vague and crystal clear interpretations of data, and the kind of scattered thinking that might indicate dementia. Determined to figure out the murder, Vesta doggedly pursues the cold trail, but comes up with more questions than answers. Moshfegh is a ...more
    Uriel Perez
    Sep 17, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
    "Her name was Magda. Nobody will ever know who killed her. It wasn't me. Here is her dead body."

    This note plunges the elderly Vesta, a woman living at civilization's edge, on a madcap search for Magda's killer. Undaunted by the visible lack of evidence, Vesta's search takes her to the end of her sanity, forcing her to confront repressed demons and the memories of her now-deceased husband, as well as a bevy of shadowy figures out to foil her plans. With clues and evil-doers at every turn, the in
    ...more
    Jessica Sullivan
    I love Ottessa Moshfegh, and I love the premise of this novel, but it really wasn’t for me.

    Vesta is an old widow living by herself in a rural cabin with her dog, Charlie. Her husband, Walter, died recently and now she is all alone. While walking in the woods one day, she finds a cryptic note stating that Magda is dead, and becomes obsessed with it. She doesn’t know who Magda is, so she makes up a story about her as she attempts to solve her mystery. Lines between delusion and reality
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    Mark Mazzuca
    Nov 16, 2019 rated it liked it
    Look, I hate to say this but you spend a ton of time in her mind in very long paragraphs about varying topics. This is usually Ottessa’s strong point but not as sharp as previous books, and I didn’t feel the plot was moving in a satisfying way. I didn’t particularly care about anyone in the book or find them compelling. She is still one of the best authors breathing and I will fight everyone on Good Reads who disagrees but the earlier books landed much better for me.
    Tyler Goodson
    Nov 08, 2019 rated it really liked it
    Shelves: arcs
    At first, it seems to be about the act of imagining and writing a story. The novel keeps reminding you that the “story” and “characters” in it are creations of Vesta, who is herself a creation. It gets scary when the things you thought Vesta was making up turn out to be real. This is a fascinating, and eerie exercise in novel writing, and reminded me of The Keep by Jennifer Egan, another darkly bonkers experiment in storytelling.
    Kyle Schnitzer
    Oct 08, 2019 rated it it was ok
    Nah
    Samantha
    Nov 12, 2019 rated it did not like it
    A meandering, inane plot that goes nowhere, a pet murder, and one of the most unlikable protagonists I’ve ever encountered.

    Moshfegh writes SO beautifully that is seems like it should be impossible for any of her work to have such poor results, yet here we are.

    I loved My Year of Rest and Relaxation. It made me think Moshfegh could do no wrong. Then I read MGlue and wasn’t thrilled with it. I was hoping that this book would be more on par with Rest and Relaxation, but instead found it to be the
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    LittleSophie
    Sep 22, 2019 rated it it was amazing
    Shelves: 2019
    Without wanting to accuse Moshfegh of anything (nothing, surely, could be further from her mind) the premise of her masterful new novel is very similar to Olga Tokarczuk's "Drive Your Plow Over the Bones of the Dead." Both feature excentric older women who live more or less isolated in the countryside, where they try to solve a murder that might be imaginary, while Blake's poetry provides clues. As I loved Tokarczuk's novel, this only made me more eager to read Moshfegh's novel.

    Despi
    ...more
    Sarah Stone
    Nov 07, 2019 rated it really liked it
    Death in Her Hands
    By Ottessa Moshfegh

    ⭐⭐⭐⭐/5

    ✨Synopsis: Vesta Gool lives a normal retired daily life until she finds a note on her morning walk with her dog. “Her name was Magda.” Concern rushes through Vesta as the contents of the note begins to swirl uncontrollably in her mind. She begins to devote every waking hour into solving what happened to Magda, how the note got there, and who committed the crime. Throughout the books entirety I was very concerned for Vesta’s
    ...more
    Jason
    Oct 21, 2019 rated it it was amazing
    •Vesta is a 70-something widow living alone in a lakeside cottage after her husband passes away from cancer. Being alone with not much human interaction, Vesta is left in her thoughts a lot. After finding this note on the forest floor, Vesta obsessively tries to figure out who Magda was and who would leave such a note there in the first place. You kind of go into this journey with Vesta as she deduces clues from apparitions and happenstance. The product of such thoughts lead Vesta down a path th ...more
    BB
    Sep 20, 2019 rated it liked it
    I struggled to rate this book because there are things such as the writing style that are first rate but the story itself was hard for me to get into. I was able to finish this book in a day because Moshfegh's writing is just beautiful. I couldn't put the book down. So while the writing was engaging, the story itself didn't hold me. However I did find it to be a great character study and a really interesting look inside the mind of someone who is slowly maddening herself over an event that she c ...more
    Kevin Chambers
    Nov 15, 2019 rated it did not like it
    I won an advanced copy of this book from a Goodreads giveaway and I wish I hadn’t. The book synopsis makes this book sound like an intersecting murder mystery, but instead it was a mystery why anyone would like this book. From the pointless and random ramblings to the missing plot, there was nothing here that I enjoyed. I only finished the book so that I could feel ok leaving a 1 star review.
    Emma
    Oct 18, 2019 rated it really liked it
    For fans of My Cousin Rachel by Daphne du Maurier and fans of more psychological thrillers, this book delivers a suspenseful atmosphere built by the unraveling of the protagonist’s mind. I’m not a fan of Moshfegh’s other work, but I felt her depiction of the inner workings of an elderly woman were astute and the development of the story was controlled. This was why I eased into the book and stayed, but I can see how fans of Moshfegh’s other work will appreciate the grit and her generally subvers ...more
    Michael Jantz
    Oct 04, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
    Masterful. She reels you in with the banalities of mystery but the thrill is in the surprise immersion into her narrator’s psyche. An interior novel, full of confusion and unreality. Crudely funny at the same time.
    Angella d'Avignon
    Nov 01, 2019 rated it it was amazing
    blew my mind,
    twisted and boring
    i am obsessed
    Tory
    Oct 07, 2019 rated it it was ok
    Shelves: 2019
    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
    Professional Apocalypse
    I enjoyed DiHH, but there were times where I wondered where, if anywhere, the story was going. In the end, Ottessa wrapped it all up in a tight little package. She's so good. Nothing ever mind-blowing, just quietly original and controlled in perfectly strange ways.
    Mary
    Nov 16, 2019 rated it it was ok
    I won an advanced proof of this book. The writing style is unique. It is a psychological mystery that draws the reader in just to see how it ends. A recent widow, Vesta Gul, is our narrator. People and cities make her nervous, so she has moved to an old Girl Scout camp with her dog Charlie. One day she finds a mysterious note in the woods. Next, she is trying to solve the mystery of Magda, who is dead according to the note. From this point I did not know what was real or what was Vesta's imagina ...more
    Sarah Dealy
    Nov 03, 2019 rated it liked it
    :(
    Morgan Schulman
    Nov 16, 2019 rated it liked it
    Shelves: reader-s-copy
    Definitely not my favorite by this amazing author
    Simon
    rated it it was amazing
    Sep 08, 2019
    Walker Iversen
    rated it really liked it
    Nov 05, 2019
    Annie
    rated it liked it
    Nov 17, 2019
    Tom Benton
    rated it it was amazing
    Aug 27, 2019
    Abbie Schollmeier
    rated it liked it
    Nov 15, 2019
    Melissa Lojo
    rated it really liked it
    Oct 10, 2019
    Raul Xeavitt
    rated it really liked it
    Nov 01, 2019
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    2,737 followers
    Ottessa Moshfegh is a fiction writer from New England. Her first book, McGlue, a novella, won the Fence Modern Prize in Prose and the Believer Book Award. She is also the author of the short story collection Homesick for Another World. Her stories have been published in The Paris Review, The New Yorker, and Granta, and have earned her a Pushcart Prize, an O. Henry Award, the Plimpton Discovery Prize, and a grant from the Na ...more