At first glance, Henry and Flora would not seem extraordinary to most people. Love and Death, nevertheless, saw great potential within them. For centuries, Love and Death had been playing a game. Each would pick a human player, and then they would roll the dice to determine the end date of the game. There were limitations to how much, and in which ways, they could interfere — but they certainly acted to influence the situation so that they might win the bet. Regardless of how much love there seemed to be between the people, Death always prevailed. Though previous games have included such famed, star-crossed pairs as Anthony and Cleopatra or Paris and Helen of Troy, Love seems to think that Henry and Flora will finally beat the odds.
There were a few things about this story that made it particularly compelling. First, that Love and Death were beings who seemed to be almost fighting an attraction between themselves. They often took human form, and it struck me that this author chose to have Love as a man and Death as a woman. Since men tend to be associated more with aggression and women tend to be associated more with nurturing, it was very interesting to see this dynamic reversed. It was also rather amazing to see how well the author managed to weave together themes of socioeconomic discrepencies, race relations, gender norms, and GLBTQ struggles as they related to Americans in the 1930s. If you enjoy historical fiction with a touch of magical realism and a healthy heaping of romance, look no further.