Literature Monday: Laura Whitcomb, The Fetch

About three years ago, I was looking for Laura Whitcomb’s A Certain Slant of Light. My local Indigo didn’t have it, but it did have The Fetch. I am an unabashedly enthusiastic fan of historical fiction and stories about death, and this book immediately hooked me with its notion of beings who Fetch – those who help the dying reach their end goal as peacefully as possible – and a plot centred around the Romanovs.

Time is not the same everywhere. On earth it is as constant as the planets pulling against one another in their dance around the sun, but in the Aisle of Unearthing time stops and starts, stretches, and flies forward depending on how many earthlings are dying at any given hour. Time in the aisle rushes, crawls, or sleeps, though it never goes backwards. In the Aisle, a Fetch always knows what earth year it is when he opens a Death Door, even though for the Fetch it may be 1703 first thing in the morning and 1710 by nightfall, or 1865 for a thousand days. So it was not surprising that several human years had passed in one Fetch night. On earth it was now 1912.”

(Excerpt: The Fetch, Laura Whitcomb) 

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