Long ago, there was a book about a young girl who went to one of those isolated houses in the country where a dark brooding man lived. But hey, BIG TW...moreLong ago, there was a book about a young girl who went to one of those isolated houses in the country where a dark brooding man lived. But hey, BIG TWIST, the man has a house filled with secrets, some of them downright scary. No spoilers here. This is a really good gothic romance with something evil haunting our hero. Great plot. Fresh. Original. And different. I have kept this book forever and often reread it.(less)
What a lovely novel which is absolutely thick with mythology and some of the finest descriptive language on fairy-related symbols. So I was not surpri...moreWhat a lovely novel which is absolutely thick with mythology and some of the finest descriptive language on fairy-related symbols. So I was not surprised to see Diane Purkiss's book on fairies listed in the back as a source. That's my favorite book on the fairies.
And I suppose, at this moment, this is my favorite piece of fiction on fairies, too. The magic and atmosphere is so completely intrinsic in nature that I don't know how to describe it, but to say, it's real, it feels real to me, as someone who has studied folklore for most of my adult life.
The story is a beautiful and highly romantic retelling of Tam Lin, the ballad about mortals and fairies and love. I just adored the heroine, an ordinary girl who has lost both her mother and sister, who meets the goblin boy and is seduced by him, only she seduces him and makes him bleed. From there on out, the fairy trick is complicated and the mischief is deep. But not even death can stop this kind of love.
It's not a complicated story and the events are simple and play out slowly like the fairy dream that surrounds it. The setting becomes a character. Jack, well, he IS one dark and beautiful dream. And this time, the schoolgirl saves him. That's the pleasant ending, the good outcome.
But it all came at a high price. People do die. Hearts are broken. And one has to understand that mortals loving the dead can have consequences, terrible consequences. The living do not choose death easily. And the dead, well, they want to live again.
There are lots of literary allusions, which also function as metaphors and clues and other kinds of things. I've been reading this book off and on all day, rereading some passages and pages, marking it. Lots of beautiful passages and quotes to lift from this tale. And it is a tale, so really character is less important than story.
Side note: I have read four very good novels this year, this being one of those four. All of them have several things in common. (1) Third person narrative (2) Basically they are tales, meaning structure (3) ordinary girls who have no super powers and who are not chosen, etc. (4) Girls who find themselves in extra-ordinary circumstances and survive because they are good and smart and loyal and have a strong sense of empathy. (5) A price is paid (6) Family is important. (7) sui-generis, meaning they defy labeling.
I am going to write a detailed review for my blog at a later date.
But I love this novel and highly recommend it to everyone, 13 and up! (less)