I asked Didine one last question.
"Will you come back to talk to us more?"
One glorious tap. The yes I had yearned to hear.
And so, in a matter of moments, a life changes.
I who had never been haunted, who had been skeptical of visitations, suddenly accepted all possibilities. Or as a priest would say, in that moment, I allowed the devil into my life.
But the priest would be wrong. I did more than allow him in. I gave the devil a warm hearth and a hospitable place to rest for as long as he wanted one. I gave him access to my very soul.
|Check out that gorgeous cover!|
A gothic tale about Victor Hugo’s long-buried secrets and the power of a love that never dies . . . In 1843, novelist Victor Hugo’s beloved nineteen-year-old daughter drowned. Ten years later, still grieving, Hugo initiated hundreds of séances from his home on the Isle of Jersey in order to reestablish contact with her. In the process, he claimed to have communed with Plato, Galileo, Shakespeare, Dante, Jesus—and even the devil himself. Hugo’s transcriptions of these conversations have all been published. Or so it has been believed...
Recovering from a great loss, mythologist Jac L’Etoile thinks that throwing herself into work will distract her from her grief. In the hopes of uncovering a secret about the island’s mysterious Celtic roots, she arrives on Jersey and is greeted by ghostly Neolithic monuments, medieval castles and hidden caves. But the man who has invited her there, a troubled soul named Theo Gaspard, hopes she’ll help him discover something quite different— transcripts of Hugo’s lost conversations with someone he called the Shadow of the Sepulcher. Central to his heritage, these are the papers his grandfather died trying to find. Neither Jac nor Theo anticipate that the mystery surrounding Victor Hugo will threaten their sanity and put their very lives at stake.
Seduction is not the type of book I normally read, although I do enjoy a good mystery/suspense novel every so often. I will say that M.J. Rose is a great writer - her prose flows eloquently but is sometimes so detailed that the book seems slow, like it was for me in the beginning.
However, anyone who is interested in Victor Hugo or enjoys historical novels would like this book. There's a third story that later intertwines with the other two, and the main character, Jac, is very much connected to that story. It was interesting to read at the end of the novel what was actually true about Hugo and his life, and what the author has made up - he and his family did hold seances after his daughter accidentally drowned, and he claims to have talked to many spirits, including Shakespeare and also the evil Shadow of the Sepulcher, who in this book infiltrates his mind and spirit. I also like the ending of this book, as everything wraps itself up neatly, for the most part.
3 stars out of 5.
*Disclosure: I was provided with a copy of this book for reviewing purposes. The opinions expressed here, however, are my own.