Death in Her Hands

Death in Her Hands by Ottessa Moshfegh Book Summary

"[An] intricate and unsettling new novel . . . Death in Her Hands is not a murder mystery, nor is it really a story about self-deception or the perils of escapism. Rather, it's a haunting meditation on the nature and meaning of art."
-Kevin Power, The New Yorker

From one of our most ceaselessly provocative literary talents, a novel of haunting metaphysical suspense about an elderly widow whose life is upturned when she finds an ominous note on a walk in the woods.


While on her daily walk with her dog in a secluded woods, a woman comes across a note, handwritten and carefully pinned to the ground by stones. "Her name was Magda. Nobody will ever know who killed her. It wasn't me. Here is her dead body." But there is no dead body. Our narrator is deeply shaken; she has no idea what to make of this. She is new to this area, alone after the death of her husband, and she knows no one.

Becoming obsessed with solving this mystery, our narrator imagines who Magda was and how she met her fate. With very little to go on, she invents a list of murder suspects and possible motives for the crime. Oddly, her suppositions begin to find correspondences in the real world, and with mounting excitement and dread, the fog of mystery starts to fade into menacing certainty. As her investigation widens, strange dissonances accrue, perhaps associated with the darkness in her own past; we must face the prospect that there is either an innocent explanation for all this or a much more sinister one.

A triumphant blend of horror, suspense, and pitch-black comedy, Death in Her Hands asks us to consider how the stories we tell ourselves both reflect the truth and keep us blind to it. Once again, we are in the hands of a narrator whose unreliability is well earned, and the stakes have never been higher.

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Death in Her Hands (Ottessa Moshfegh) Book Reviews

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@ComeTakeIt1791: @liquidlaugh It sickens me that it took the gun death of an 8 year old little girl for @KeishaBottoms to FINALLY call i…

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@TruthTaylor5: @txquila1 @DonaldJTrumpJr Statistically per capita more people die in Chicago on any given Saturday night than Covid-19.…

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@seanhannity Blood is on her hands for the innocent people killed or injured in Chicago. I dont wish death on anyon…

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@liv_iathan: y'all it's like she's holding life and death in her hands in this shot

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@birdman6290 @David88Higgins @atrupar You have pushed a false racial inequality narrative…

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@David88Higgins @atrupar You have pushed a false racial inequality narrative and hatred fo…

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@CT_Bergstrom @chrislhayes You have pushed a false racial inequality narrative and hatred…

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@Shizooey: @3days3nights @robincnelson I just read thread. Speechless. Something circuited in my brain. The closest thing to this is…

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@atrupar Glad you still have a child. This kid was murdered by radicalized lefwting thugs f…

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@PervyDirector //Hello, I'm thinking about RPing a scenario where Olga survives Fuyuki City, notably by her death a…

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The collar lit up, bright purple-red. Keith arches with a small cry as his hands paw at her uselessly. Shiro fights…

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@ComeTakeIt1791: @liquidlaugh It sickens me that it took the gun death of an 8 year old little girl for @KeishaBottoms to FINALLY call i…

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@txquila1 @DonaldJTrumpJr Statistically per capita more people die in Chicago on any given Saturday night than Covi…

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