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The Fetch by Laura Whitcomb (66)
labandbooks
proseandkahn
 Calder is a "fetch" who died sometime in the 1500s, when he was nineteen-years-old. For four hundred or so years he has performed the lonely duties of escorting the soul of a newly dead person to the gates of heaven.  In the early 1900's, he's waiting to escort the soul of Alexie Nickoleavich to heaven when he falls in love with his mother, Alexandra. He breaks all kinds of sacred rules when he interferes with Alexie's death, but he can't bring himself to cause pain to Alexandra. He then causes a wound to the equilibrium of the universe when, at the death of Gregory Rasputin, he inhabits the body of the charismatic monk upon his "death," in order to get close to the family. 

Knowledge of the history of Tsarist Russia, in particular Nicholas and Alexandra and the Russian Revolution, would be helpful to readers. It was a bit slow-going for most of the book, but ended up being quite a touching love story.