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Mrs Death Misses Death

3.90  ·  Rating details ·  51 ratings  ·  30 reviews
Mrs Death tells her intoxicating story in this life-affirming fire-starter of a novel.

Mrs Death has had enough. She is exhausted from spending eternity doing her job and now she seeks someone to unburden her conscience to. Wolf Willeford, a troubled young writer, is well acquainted with death, but until now hadn’t met Death in person – a black, working-class woman who shap
Hardcover, 320 pages
Expected publication: January 28th 2021 by Canongate Books Ltd.
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Average rating 3.90  · 
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Oct 18, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a moving and thought-provoking story about Mrs Death. She has spent eternity doing her job and she is fed up and now wants to find someone and unburden herself what with all the things she has done. So, she meets a young writer called Wolf. Who has some experience in death as she nearly died in a fire and half her family is dead? Mrs Death shows Wolf everything about death and what could have been done differently and how people lived years ago and about life. How to live life to the ful ...more
Jul 17, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Thank you to Netgalley for an e-copy. All opinions remain my own.

To start with, we got hit with some very strange but true disclaimers. If anything, if perfectly set the tone for what was to come.

It was so lyrical and beautiful, mixing traditional story telling with poetry and a strange but haunting lilt and flow to words that made it at times frenzied and urgent, but soft and sing-song, simultaneously and separately.

I would say to definitely go into this book aware that it will probably trigger
Jun 16, 2020 rated it really liked it
Thank you to NetGalley and Canongate Books for the arc of Mrs Death Misses Death by Salena Godden

This follows Mrs Death who spends eternity doing her job and now in which she seeks someone to unburden her consequences... She meets Wolf who is a young writer who is troubled whom is also well acquainted with death itself,

Interested and gripped by her wolf decides to say in which to write her memoirs he travels with Mrs death through time to witness deaths of past and future, and what does the fut
Dec 31, 2020 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: dnf
Check out the full review on my website. CLICK HERE




DISCLAIMER : Thank you, Netgalley, and Canongate Books for providing me with an ARC of this book. I am leaving this review voluntarily.

Mrs. Death Misses Death by Salena Godden is prose and poetry mixed with narration style writing, and is more of a literary style of fiction than a straight-up fantasy, in my opinion. I requested this book after reading the fascinating syn
Nov 04, 2020 rated it really liked it
Thank you to Netgalley and the publisher for providing an arc in exchange for an honest review.

elevator pitch: Wolf, a young, struggling writer and already familiar with grief, grows acquainted with Mrs Death. Through their shared desk, the two share their stories of love, loss and pain.

review: This is abstract and esoteric, and because of this will be off-putting to some. But it is also lyrical and poignant. It's very compelling and I read it very quickly (the disclaimer didn't lie about being
Jun 23, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2020-books-read
This book is to be appreciated rather than enjoyed after all it is about death. Having said that it is a book really about life and it’s scary in places. This book is in parts poetic, in part observations and in parts a story. This is the type of book that should be read by all ages and should be studied by the young. It is about the World, it is about Black Life’s Matter, it is about all life’s matter, it is about the silly things that people say and do around death, it’s about the mad and bad ...more
Resh (The Book Satchel)
Mrs Death misses death is a different kind of novel. It merges prose and poetry to tell the story of Death and a writer Wolf. The personification of death as a woman was interesting as a concept. Here Death is a black woman taking different forms/jobs and is seldom noticed by others. She tells her story—kind of like a memoir—to Wolf. Within the pages we visit deaths of past (as old as 1700s), present, deaths that hover between life and death. The whole book tells stories + conversations. We get ...more
Dec 18, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Fuck me. I'm not going to go into details but death is a topic I have thought about a lot this year, for a number of reasons. The latest of which is discovering the term anticipatory grief and having the weight of that press down with unrelenting power. And so what better time to... read a book that makes the topic of death unavoidable??

A big swing, personally, it was high risk. Basically: Mrs Death tells her story. In doing so, across poetry and prose, offloading her tales onto young writer Wol
Lolly Shakirat
Nov 11, 2020 rated it really liked it
Thanks Canongate for the eARC of this title!

I requested this title because my first thought on seeing the title was "WOW what a fascinating title"! After reading that title I decided I needed it ASAP. My second thought, before reading the blurb was, Mrs Death misses death? She misses Mr/Mrs/Mx Death? Where have they gone? But then I was like, oh maybe she misses death, doesn't always quite get people the first time round... I wasn't sure at all to be quite honest.

So my thoughts so far, are tha
Oct 08, 2020 rated it liked it
Ok, I’ll be honest I was exactly sure what to make of Mrs Death Misses Death, that wasn’t to say it wasn’t good because it was, it just required the reader to think out of the box and concentrate.
The structure was interesting, part narrative and part poetry, not surprising as the author is also a poet. It did take some getting used to but I felt it worked well and broke up the narrative, which was quite heavy reading at times.
The other factor was the interaction between Wolfie and Mrs Death hers
Charlotte Jones
Oct 27, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
*Disclaimer: I received this book for free from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

How could I resist picking up a book with this cover and title during the spookiest month of the year? I went in knowing very little and was pleasantly surprised.

The most surprising thing about the book, and the aspect I loved most, is the mix of prose, poetry, dialogue transcripts and diary entries, along with a mix of philosophical tangents that feel almost like non-fiction, as well as actual historical
May 21, 2020 rated it really liked it
Mrs Death Misses Death is a transformative, thought-provoking novel that looks at death, storytelling, and what really matters in the world. Mrs Death has spent eternity doing her job, but things have gotten a bit much, and she finds herself sharing her story with Wolf, a young writer in London who has an acquaintance with death but not Mrs Death. Through Wolf, we learn about past deaths and about what Mrs Death thinks makes life worth living.

This is a difficult book to describe, written in diff
Gem ~ Bee
Nov 26, 2020 rated it really liked it
I devoured this original book in 2 sittings as it is fairly short and a very easy read but packs a punch of heartbreak and revelations that keep you reading.
Wolf is a complicated character; engulfed by grief, struggling with his mental health and yet trying to secure his dream of becoming a writer, he develops an unusual friendship with Mrs Death. This takes us on a journey exploring the lives and deaths of generations of both Wolf's ancestry and infamous deaths in the past. Because Mrs Death i
Aug 16, 2020 rated it really liked it
Thank you to Netgalley, Canongate and Salena Godden for providing me with an ARC in exchange for an honest review.

I have to start off by saying that I think this is one of the most beautiful books I have ever read. The writing style is gorgeous, Salena Godden moves from a beautifully written prose to incredibly moving poetry and script. The differentiation between chapters makes it incredibly accessible and all the more moving.

Mrs Death Misses Death follows the author Wolf, who is attempting to
This is just wonderful, lyrical, life-affirming and timely. Combining a number of literary forms including traditional storytelling and poetry, it tells a story of Mrs Death’s loneliness and weariness. She seeks to unburden herself, to tell someone what she has lived through and experienced. Wolf Willeford is also lonely, a twentysomething Londoner brought up by his grandparents after his mother died in a tower block fire. A struggling writer, one day he buys an antique desk with his rent money ...more
Philipa Coughlan
Jan 15, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Life affirming - even in the throes of death. Many might think this will be a morbid read, reflecting and describing death, how it manifests itself and its effects on the living.
But what Wolf does as the main narrator is articulate those fears, of how in the midst of being a living, breathing, loving human we can die. He knows he watched his mother die in a fire and is now as a writer trying to sort his thoughts.
A mixture of prose and poetry this marvellous book also includes links to real peopl
Eule Luftschloss
trigger warning
(view spoiler)

A writer purchases an antique desk that lets them communicate with Mrs Death, interview her, write down her life, her work.

A big topic of this is when Mrs Death misses death - when someone nearly dies, but somehow survives, and the possibility of puns. The nature of death, and what kind of life a personified death might lead, which people M
Sep 01, 2020 rated it liked it
There were times when the words tumbled from the page in an intoxicated, hallucinogenic struggle. At others, these raging thought-frenzies were extinguished by the wave of tranquillity circling overhead.

Despite the clear chapter titles, the uninhibited exchanges often made it difficult to separate ‘Mrs Death’ and ‘Wolf Willeford’; their roles overlapped erratically and were nimbly entwined throughout.

Occasionally the narrative was injected with streams of poetry. Undoubtedly, this was hauntingly
Sep 19, 2020 rated it liked it
Let me start by saying that Mrs Death Misses Death completely caught me off guard. It, in no way, was what I thought it was going to be about. I hadn't heard of the author before and as it turns out Mrs Death Misses Death is Salena's first novel, away from her regular poetic writing, which clearly resonates in her book, and so I'd say that this book isn't for everyone. If you're expecting a thriller based read of gruesome death then you'd be wrong. This is more of a biography written by Mrs Deat ...more
Hebridean Reader
Nov 10, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I utterly adored this. A lyrical exploration or grief through poetry and prose. Rather than being a traditional narrative story, this read like experiencing raw emotion, and tells the tale of the traumatised Wolf who is coming to terms with their incredible losses while channeling Mrs Death.
This is elegant and raw and life-affirming, although their are very powerful moments of suicide ideolation.
This is truly a book born from the sociological, environmental, economical and political trauma curre
Jan 13, 2021 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Mrs Death Misses Death beautifully blends poetry, prose and script to tell the story of two main characters: Wolf and Mrs Death. This book is unlike any I have ever read, it begins with a disclaimer that is both bizarre and eye opening and sets the reader up for what they are about to experience.

The writing is fast paced and engaging, a short books that packs a real punch in terms of grief and loss and what matters in life. Framing Death as a woman allowed for the story to carry topics with a l
Dec 30, 2020 rated it liked it
I honestly don’t know how I feel about this book, but I think that’s what the author was aiming for. It leaves you feeling empty, but purposeful. It is essentially like having a conversation with death herself.

By combining poetry with description and dialogue, Godden manages to make a distinction between the two main characters, whilst also making you believe they are the one and the same. Isn’t that true? Isn’t death always a part of us?

You would think this book is about death, but it’s about l
Áine Toner
May 19, 2020 rated it really liked it
This is truly one of the most creative books I’ve read in a long time. The writing flows and you’re carried alongside Mrs Death, who wants someone to write her memoirs. All manner of life and death is mentioned as she recounts her life’s work (her death’s work?) to writer Wolf Willeford. From the offset you know this is a very special read and the writing style – which offers a variety of formats – adds to the sense of someone repeating their life’s events. Along the way you read what could be d ...more
Dec 28, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book is challenging without feeling confrontational. No, that’s not right. It is beautiful. I found myself highlighting phrases all the time which I almost never do. It left me with a jumble of emotions - and is not for the faint of heart, it is not a sanitised Death. It’s almost like... language experiments made manifest. It is beautiful and strange and carries guilt and grief and I’m so very glad I read it. I don’t know if you will be. I think I recognise parts of this book. I think you w ...more
Zosha (shelfobsessed)
May 15, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-2020
This is an energetic read, full of emotion. The cadence of Godden's writing is poetic and fluid, I found Mrs Death Misses Death to be energetic and easy reading, but laced with a profundity that hits the reader at the end. The characters of Wolf and Mrs Death are beautifully described; they come to life from the first page. I was intrigued by this presentation of Death too, woven into the novel through poetry, pop culture references and history. Thoroughly original and highly recommended, and I ...more
Rebecca Rouillard
Dec 22, 2020 rated it really liked it
Troubled writer, Wolf, first meets Mrs Death on the day Wolf’s mother dies in a Grenfell Tower-style fire. As an adult, Wolf becomes her scribe as Mrs Death tells her story.

As you can surmise from the title, Mrs Death Misses Death plays with words and riffs on the vocabulary of dying—you can definitely tell that the author is a poet. A playful and life-affirming as well as incredibly poignant story.
Jan 13, 2021 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I, sadly, couldn't warm to Mrs Death Misses Death. The story is stilted with large chunks of repetitive text, lists, descriptive language, poetry even, that kept me from feeling any attraction or desire to read on. Without the disruptive sections the story of Wolf and Mrs. Death would have had space to grow deeper roots and become something I would have embraced. ...more
Jun 13, 2020 rated it liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Stacey Bookerworm
Jan 07, 2021 rated it it was ok
Death wants to set the record straight and challenge the assumptions made about her - not least the assumption that she is a man.

Read more of our review here:
Wen Yi-chun
rated it liked it
Dec 02, 2020
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