Monday, April 14, 2008
Keturah and Lord Death
Leavitt, Martine. 2006. Keturah and Lord Death.
I've got to admit right up front that I was intrigued by the opening to Keturah and Lord Death: "I was sixteen years old the day I was lost in the forest, sixteen the day I met my death." Our heroine is Keturah Reeve. This is her story, her tale. It reads like a fairy tale. It does. And it's got a certain atmospheric charm and quality to it. I think that it will appeal to some more than others. Or perhaps I should say that it will satisfy some more than others. It had me reading; it kept me hooked. But, for me, this wasn't the ending that I wanted or needed. Perhaps most readers would disagree with me there though.
Keturah has spent her whole life--all sixteen years--dreaming of her true love. Waiting to find her true love, waiting to settle down, waiting to keep house, waiting to have babies of her own to love and tend to. Waiting for THE ONE. When she wanders into the forest, the woods, her hopes seem all but dashed. She becomes lost. She's lost for three days. Without food, without water. She's on the brink of death. And death does come for her. Death, Lord Death, is handsome enough. And she makes a heartfelt appeal. She tells him her heart's desire, she tells him stories, gives him promises. She in fact bargains with Death. He grants her request.
He does not take her then. He gives her a chance. A day. A day to find her true love. A day to be wed to that love. If she succeeds, then he'll not claim her. She'll be safe this time at least from his clutches.
I won't go on beyond this point. But the stories and tales she weaves as she bargains with Lord Death captivate not only him but the reader as well. Can her words save her? Does she even want to be saved?
Some call this a romance. I don't feel comfortable with that label.
I hope that you're not reading this if you have plans of reading it yourself. Though some might think it predictable enough that the spoiler is silly. Anyway, this is your last chance.
Okay. I disliked her choice. While death in itself is neither absolutely good or absolutely evil. The fact that this young girl thinking herself madly and passionately in love with Death would choose to die and be Death's companion and wife when she could have had a life, a love of her own, her every dream realized is silly. Why choose an early death? Why choose Death over John? Why? This baffles me. And it is this reasoning that makes me be on Team Jacob instead of Team Edward. (For those not in the know this is a Stephenie Meyer reference.)
© Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews