Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Love Letters of the Angel of Death

12. Jennifer Quist, Love Letters of the Angel of Death (Whitney, general category)

Love Letters of the Angels of Death This was a gorgeously written book exploring the close (sometimes constricting) ties between two people who know and love each other intimately. This isn't a plot driven novel at all, but a character driven one, written as a series of letters (sort of) from husband to wife. (In fact, the chapters switch back and forth in terms of time so while there are clear character arcs, they're not always linear ones. To Quist's credit, I never found myself lost in terms of time or place, despite the switching). For most of the novel, we don't even know the character's names: there's just "I" (the husband) and "you" (the wife). The chapters tell a series of loosely connected vignettes, important moments in the characters' relationship (often associated with their reaction to death, as suggested by the title). Despite the occasional morbidity of the characters, this really isn't a dark novel--it's more about life and celebrating relationships than about death, though of course death sets important parameters on those relationships.

It took me a while to get into the second-person narration, but once I got past that I found myself engrossed in the story and read it in just a couple of days. It's a short novel, but a powerful one. I found myself repeatedly slowing down just to enjoy the prose. My friend Kel has a stunning review up at Segullah, that delves more deeply than I intend to into the sheer pleasure of the prose.


  1. I don't read adult novels, but this sounds good. Thanks for sharing it.

  2. Glad you enjoyed it, Rosalyn. Thanks for the review.