Story of Death and her human daughter.
For centuries, Death observed humans… What makes them human, their interactions, religious beliefs and shortcomings, wondering what it must be like to have feelings and emotions.
Meeting Aisha, a young girl who worships Allah and believes in Death so much that she can see her, Death follows Aisha’s troubled life until her untimely death. Still clinging to her beliefs, Aisha asks death to raise her unnamed baby as if she were her own.
Accepting, Death names her Rose and raises her in a castle she creates in the Brazilian Rainforest, safe from human influences, especially sin. All goes well until the untainted nineteen-year-old Rose meets Henry and they fall in love.
Henry, the Brazilian president’s son, invites Rose to see civilization. Reluctantly, Death lets her go, unable to accompany her as she is visible only to Rose and those about to die.
The now enlightened Rose become estranged from Death, making Death resent Henry, despite him treating Rose as if she were a princess. She and Rose remain apart until Death seeks her out once more and is shocked by what she finds. Is Death’s Life about to repeat itself?
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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 story books her mother bought her that planted the seed, which became deep-rooted in her soul and she knew in her heart she wanted to be a writer.
Looking for a reason to believe she could write well, Bela was inspired when she read an astrology pocketbook that said Geminis could be great writers. At fourteen, while studying at the well-known Army Public School in Pakistan, Bela started writing her first novel.
As it wasn’t considered anything more than a hobby by most people in her country, she wrote at night when she should have been sleeping. Although supported by her friends and her English teacher, Bela continued to write in secret. Throughout her studies at college, it became clearer to her that she really wanted to be a writer, not a doctor.
By the time they emigrated in 2016, Bela had written seven novels, and when she told her parents of her decision to become a writer, they weren’t happy. Since then, due to personal issues, Bela hasn’t written anything else.
Death’s Life was written in 2015 and is the first book she has published. Based around an experience she had at a funeral when she saw the pain a mother was suffering as she grieved for her dead son, which made Bela fantasize how death might work. Making Death a woman and a mother were both a tribute to her mother, and by extension all mothers as they have infinite love and would feel infinite pain, should anything happen to their child.
The thought processes Death goes through reflect how nineteen-year-old Bela perceived the character, sometimes weird, sometimes mature for a girl of her age. But in the end, apart from God, who could be a portrayed as the ultimate, powerful female character other than Death herself? Naturally, Bela’s own feminist views have been the main influence for Death.
The book is also about the relationship between mothers and daughters, because Bela never had the close relationship with her mother that she wanted, though they love each other deeply.