Nick's Reviews > Brimstone Wedding, The

Brimstone Wedding, The by Barbara Vine
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's review
Jun 10, 11

bookshelves: mystery, gothic
Read in June, 2011

What makes ordinary people do creepy, psychologically disturbing things, and then retreat to a life of the ordinary, covering up the events of their past?

Jenny works at a retirement home and becomes close to Stella, one of the patients. They both have their secrets, and this brings them closer as they reveal to the other. Jenny is just beginning her secret life, but dreams of being close to the unordinary, in touch with superstition and the macabre. In the unfolding events of the story she loses this particular yen, accepting the more mundane even she becomes more ill at ease with the events of her life.

Stella's past is the kicker. As she little by little explains her secrets to Jenny, we see how an ordinary person can get swept up in larger events and things can turn ugly in a moment's notice.

And love is the key to both of these stories, illicit love with men already married, promises that are made, but with little intention from the beginning of being kept. And the hurt that results makes the subsequent events inevitable.

It's great Gothic stuff, complete with a spooky old house in the country where much of both stories is set.
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