Posted in Book Reviews

Spooky September Book Review: Death’s Life by B. Latif

Born in the small town of Sarai, Alamgir, Pakistan, Bela Latif lived there with her parents and three siblings, emigrating to the U.S.A. with her parents in 2016. Brought up as a Muslim and speaking Urdu, she soon found that she preferred reading stories in English, her favorites being fairy stories. It was those English storybooks that planted the seed, which became deep-rooted in her soul and she knew in her heart she wanted to be a writer.

During centuries of collecting souls, Death spent her time making observations and theorizing about humans. What makes them who they are? How do they react and interact with one another? What are their religion beliefs? Above all, what must it be like to be human and have feelings and experience emotions? When she meets Aisha, a young girl who truly believes in Death and above all else, Allah, Death’s life is destined to changed.
Fascinated by her, Death follows Aisha’s life, through its many ups and downs, which ends in her untimely death. Throughout her ordeals, she clings steadfastly to her beliefs, despite her husband’s bullying ways, including trying to sell both his wife and their baby daughter.
When Death comes to take her soul, finding Aisha sick, weak, and homeless on the street, Aisha asks her to take and raise her unnamed baby daughter, as if she were her own and to keep her safe from humankind.
Entrusted with the child’s life and well-being, Death embarks on her quest. Naming her Rose, she raises her as if she were her mother in a castle she creates in the middle of the Brazilian Rainforest. All goes well until the untained Rose reaches the age of nineteen and happens upon Henry, the son of the Brazilian president, invites Rose to see the civilization and all it has to offer. Reluctantly, Death agrees to let her go, but is unable to accompany her as she is invisible to all but those who are about to die and Rose, who sees her as a perpetually beautiful woman in her thirties.
Death and Rose soon become estranged as Rose begins to learn about a world that has been kept from her for so many years, questions the version of reality that Death has taught her. Isolated from her adopted daughter, Death becomes bitter towards Henry, despite him treating Rose as if she were a princess. She and Rose remain apart until a few years after Henry’s demise when Death seeks her out once more and is shocked by what she finds. Will Death be able to rekindle her relationship, or has she left it too late?

They call me Death where I am more alive than they are

Bela Latif, Death’s Life

I really loved the characters in this book, they are brilliant. But what is fascinating for me is this mother-daughter relationship. It was so emotional for me and I loved how the author described everything. Firstly, I gave my heart to Aisha – she was an amazing mother and I loved how protective she is. She gave her life for her daughter. She was really brave and she was not afraid of Death. I don’t know why but reading about mother-daughter bound is always touching and I cry almost everytime when I read something like this. Death is another amazing character and even though she has no feelings – she did an amazing job as Rose’s mother. She was understanding and kind. I know she was ready to give up on everything just to see Rose happy. I could see Aisha through Death. To me, they are the same.

Reading this book, I saw how love grows into something bigger, something called possessiveness. We tend to learn that love usually grows into something beautiful. However, this is not that case. Death was too good for Rose and we can see that she loves Rose, but her definition of love is just wrong. She thinks Rose belongs only to her, but that’s not how it works. You remember that famous quote ‘If you love someone – set them free’. And it’s true, everyone needs their freedom. I understand that Death is overprotective but sooner or later everyone will leave. And it’s the most natural thing in this world. Of course you will leave. You have to go live your life. Death couldn’t understand it and we can see how serious her intentions are in the second half of the book. In the beginning of the book, Death was just an observer. She studied people’s reactions and their lives. I can freely say that she almost hated them. And later, she became one of them. Rose was her life. And we know very well what happens in situations like these. One of them gets hearbroken and torn apart.

Humans know they are humans. Humans don’t know they have humanity. Something that I would call dead in them.

Bela Latif, Death’s Life

This book is just great! I loved everything about it and it was such an emotional experience for me. Thank you Bela Latif for letting me read it. One part of my heart will always stay in this book. It just blew me away! I also want to say how Latif’s choice of words is beautiful. I couldn’t stop copying these lines in my notebook. I want to remember them all. I highly recommend this book to every human being on this planet!

” No matter how many close friends you have, no matter how deeply you are connected to someone, there is just only truly intimate relationship you have in the end: Death.”

”God makes us free creatures. But every man is a slave to another man. We spend our lives for others only. All of it. First, unwillingly, and when we can’t stand it, then we willingly devote ourselves to someone, thinking we are doing it for ourselves, but we aren’t! It’s just a way of comforting oneself!”

”After years of experience I have realized there is only one he who loves you, and it’s not her. It’s He.”

My rating: 5/5⭐

3 thoughts on “Spooky September Book Review: Death’s Life by B. Latif

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