MountainShelby's Reviews > Zofloya
by Charlotte Dacre
by Charlotte Dacre
Oct 17, 11
Read from October 05 to 17, 2011
Minor spoilers. Highly Recommended for fans or students of gothic lit, 18th/19th century lit, psychological lit, women's lit. Zofloya has to be one of the most unusual books I've read from a multitude of perspectives, from very frank sexuality to a wicked, and relatively graphic, amount of bloodshed--especially the last 50 pages. Victoria is certainly one of the most compellingly wicked heroines in literature--her selfishness is so apparent, so over the top, at times it's transformed into black humor. Be prepared for all the traditional gothic scaffolding--language, lightning storms galore, supernatural effects, otherworldly scenery, stilted language, an incredibly dysfunctional family, and narrative detours that can make the journey rather tedious for several chapters. Dacre is no Austen, Zofloya doesn't enter the scene until well into the book, and the focus on other family members was somewhat distracting (Victoria doesn't reach her wicked zenith until the last 50 pages). Also, much has been made about Victoria's morphing into a darker, more masculine creature over the course of the novel--but I think that's just typical over-reach on the part of some critics (I'd expected Victoria to undergo a Hulk-like transformation--thankfully, no). This is a great novel for college courses, book groups, etc., especially for readers with a solid background in the more traditional Radcliffe gothic or charming Austen heroines. Note: While I applaud Adriana Craciun (editor) for her efforts to have the book re-published, I agree with the reviewer who criticized Broadview Press for including a major plot spoiler on the back cover of the novel. If you can find a different edition (or avoid reading the back cover of the BP edition), do so.
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