Today it really is a pleasure to take part in the BlogTour The Life of Death by Lucy Booth. It’s an interesting combination of paranormal urban fantasy, suspense and it’s a frank dialogue with the devil and his friend called death.About the Author
Lucy Booth was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2011. She died in August 2016. During those five years she wrote this novel and it was her last wish to have it published posthumously.
Lucy was born in Suffolk, moved with her family to Solihull, Cyprus and Lymm, Cheshire where she attended Manchester High School for Girls before studying Behavioural Sciences at Nottingham University. On graduating Lucy moved to London to pursue her career as a freelance producer for various top of the range adverts & music videos.
In 2011 Lucy was diagnosed with breast cancer resulting in surgery, chemotherapy and radiotherapy. Undaunted, and with the great assistance of her friends, Lucy not only continued working and writing her blog (lucifersboob.blogspot.co.uk) of her ‘cancer experience’ in a typically forthright and humorous fashion but felt the urge to write a novel. The Life of Death is the result.
In 2014 the aggressive cancer returned. However, Lucy was determined to live her life to the full and to finish her novel before she died in August 2016.
Lucy was funny and brave and an inspiration to all who knew and loved her; she never allowed her cancer to define her and remained upbeat and positive until her last days.
She is much missed by her parents, Jackie and Alan, and sister, Analie, her many friends, her godchildren and, of course, her cat Oliver.
About the book
In 1590, I sold my soul to the Devil. I was twenty-three. Elizabeth Murra has been condemned to burn at the stake. As she awaits her fate, a strange, handsome man visits her cell. He offers her a deal: her soul in return for immortality, but what he offers is not a normal life. To survive Elizabeth must become Death itself.
Elizabeth must ease the passing of all those who die, appearin at the point of death and using her compassion to guide them over the threshold. She accepts and, for 500 years, whirls from one death to the next, never stopping to think of the life she never lived. Until one day, everything changes.
She – Death – falls in love. Desperate escape the terms of her deal, she summons the man who saved her. He agrees to release to release her on one condition: that she gives him five lives. These five lives she must take herself, each one more difficult and painful than the last.
It is awful that Lucy Booth will never see the reaction readers will have to her book, because I am certain there will be plenty of accolades and positive words. It’s also a loss for readers that she will never be able to share more of her words and talent with us. Those thoughts, my thoughts, don’t come from a place of pity or generosity due to her tragic death either. I can be quite critical at times, but I know a writer and good storyteller when I encounter one, and Lucy Booth was a good one.
The story begins in 1590, when a young girl sells her soul to the devil. Just days before her death at the hands of bloodthirsty witch-finders, the rumours of her close connection to the devil have become her downfall. She makes a pact, a deal to become the door through which every soul must travel after it has ended. At the time it sounds like a great deal, but over time the immortality and emptiness of her existence wears thin. The experiences wear heavily on her body, as freedom and ‘life’ becomes like a claustrophobic coffin made of glass.
I enjoyed the way death became almost synonymous or interlinked with the thought of the devil. Instead of a heralding angel awaiting some of us with open arms or pointing us in the direction we are deserving of; up to heaven, down to hell or perhaps even somewhere in limbo. We are all awaited by the same entity and pass through the same portal, which in this case is death. Technically that is of course true. Death comes before any alleged judgement or ranking. Even if you aren’t religious – death still comes first to us all.
There is also no judgement, regret or fear of retribution, there is only nothing. No imagined scenarios painted and scribed by the hands of men over the many centuries, who speak of winged creatures and omnipotent powers who watch over life and lives.
It’s an interesting combination of paranormal urban fantasy, suspense and it’s a frank dialogue with the devil and his friend called death. Simultaneously this is a story of embracing the thought of what death is, who death is and where death takes us. It’s the acceptance of futility, of the inevitable and about looking death straight in the eye and demanding something more than it offers to you. Then finally acknowledging that even if you dance with devil in the pale moonlight, it won’t change the fact he determines what it says on your dance card.
I really enjoyed the read.