Mrs Death Misses Death

Mrs Death Misses Death

I was lucky enough to hear Salena Godden reading extracts of Mrs Death Misses Death at West Dean College earlier in 2022. I hadn’t heard of her work before and discovered what a powerful poet and performer she is. This is her first novel.

It follows Mrs Death, who is getting weary at being present at the end of so many lives. She is never suspected, being nothing like the popular image of the grim reaper, but her work ways increasingly heavy on her.

This she begins to let out, through her friendship with the human, Wolf, who starts to write down her story for her. Their journeys are interweaved, as are the stories of just a few of those whose lives Mrs Death has taken through the centuries.

This is like nothing else I’ve ever read. It is prose interspersed with poetry. It is beautiful and will stay with me long after the end of the flight that I read it on.