cover image Love Letters of the Angels of Death

Love Letters of the Angels of Death

Jennifer Quist. Linda Leith Publishing (LitDistCo, North American dist.), $16.95 trade paper (225p) ISBN 978-1-927535-1-58

When Brigs and Carrie discover Brigs' mother's decayed corpse, the couple finds themselves drafted into an unwanted role as the rest of the family relinquishes responsibility. This event proves a harbinger of what is come; again and again the young pair play involuntary psychopomps (guide of souls) for those around them. Old and unborn, none are immune to death's embrace; even as the couple works to establish their lives together, reminders of life's inevitable end, the ephemeral nature of all things, surround them. Cheerfully unsentimental, the work manages a surprising joyful tone for a novel obsessed with inexorable death, with the idea that to be born is to take the first step towards the grave. Told in the second person, the work is a song of praise to mono no aware, the pathos of transience. It nevertheless celebrates the sweet moments in life along with the bitter. It reminds readers that life is short but along the way are moments that can make it worthwhile, if one only takes the time to appreciate them. A striking examination of life and death, the work is a promising debut novel. (Aug.)