The End of the Day by Claire North (A Review by Penny Aiton)
The End of the Day sees us accompanying the Harbinger of Death, Charlie, along on some of his assignments. Charlie is the one who goes before Death, sometimes as a courtesy, and sometimes as a warning. He never knows which, and to Charlie, it doesn’t really matter. The doing of the job is what is important.
In this novel, there isn’t really a plot to speak of. The focus of the book is on Charlie, and we spend all of our time with him throughout the story. He travels to some fascinating landscapes, which are described in vivid detail, and he encounters a variety of individuals along the way.
The story itself is really a commentary on the deeper issues in life. While following Charlie along, we are witness to his changing perceptions of life and Death, his ability to cope with the situations he is thrust into, and how being in close proximity to the dying does or does not affect him.
The questions posed in the novel are cause for deep thinking, and definitely need to be read and reflected on for someone to truly appreciate the story being told. With the recurring theme of “What is Death?” and how Charlie handles the multiple, life-threatening situations that arise from it, we are able to confront our own ideologies, perceptions, and acceptance (or lack thereof) of Death.
This is definitely more of a literary fiction novel than a classic urban fantasy, with no real climax to speak of. It is like peeking through a window into someone’s life and thoughts, for a short period of time, with no beginning or end to speak of. The book is rife with discussion points, but make no mistake going into it: this is a pensive book, requiring your utmost attention, and not to be consumed lightly.
Review by Penny Aiton