Suzanne Moore's Reviews > The Gargoyle

The Gargoyle by Andrew Davidson
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Jul 04, 2010

it was amazing
bookshelves: first-novels, ashe-spring-challenge
Read in October, 2008

The unnamed character in this novel was the victim of a car accident that resulted in extensive burning of his body. While in the burn ward at the hospital, he is visited by Marianne Engel, who tells him that they have been lovers for over 700 years. Marianne is in the hospital for psychiatric evaluation and treatment of mental illness. She is also a world-renowned sculptress, famous for her stone-carved gargoyles. She describes the love they shared through a series of stories dating back to medieval times. She visits him frequently, and when he is well enough to leave the hospital, she takes him home to care for him.

The narrator, burn victim, describes how she reads him Dante's "Inferno." When he finally is ready to quit the morphine habit that began out of an attempt to cope with the pain of his injuries, he visits Dante's Inferno in a dream-like state.

Meanwhile Marianne tells him that her "masters" have told her that she will die after completing 26 statues. Twenty-six is the number of hearts that Marianne claims to have in her chest. The last statue she carves is of the narrator. He feels it represents him well, for the monster he has become as a result of his physical injuries. Once the statue is complete, she gives her remaining heart to him, and walks into the cold water at the beach ... disappearing forever. The narrator had to accept her heart and profess his love. This is something he could never do before. Knowing her, he finally knows himself and learns how to love.
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