Caitie's Reviews > Black Rainbow

Black Rainbow by Barbara Michaels
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Jun 30, 2008

did not like it
bookshelves: mystery
Recommended for: nooooobody
Read in June, 2008

** spoiler alert ** HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA.

This was like North and South meets Jane Eyre gone terribly, terribly wrong. Which actually might have been kind of awesome, had it not been so half baked! Plot-wise, things just happened too late, too abruptly. Threads were dropped unceremoniously. I still can't believe the burial chamber Edmund discovered never ended up being important! Worst of all, everybody who falls in love FALLS IN LOVE OFF-SCREEN. Off-page, whatever. Megan falls for Edmund before the book even starts, Sam telling Megan he's in love with her comes out of nowhere, and Megan does a complete 180 by falling deeply, martyrliciously in love with Sam. I sort of understand why it happened. Megan was only ever infatuated with Edmund. It made sense sense for Sam's confession to come as a shock to Megan (and the reader) since she's an insufferable little snob. The part where Megan ought to have been falling for Sam after her rude awakening about Edmund was all in Jane's POV, and obviously Jane couldn't cotton on that early. BUT STILL. How can I be invested in the relationships when all of the good stuff happens off-screen? IT'S JUST DOESN'T WORK, B MIKE.

In fact, the only thing that worked for me was Jane. At first it seemed like Megan was the heroine of the novel, but she turned out to be a silly, useless, insufferable snob with no sense of self-awareness. I was relieved when no-nonsense Jane took over, even if she was too good to be believed. But I like to think that when she made Megan that costume (cribbed from Rebecca much, B Mike?), she intended all along for Edmund to take notice of her, as Megan presented far less of a threat to her place in the household than Lady Georgina would have. And I also like to think she killed Edmund not just to protect Megan and her nephew, but also as a power play, what with the mill sold and all her talk of male oppression. NO, I WILL NOT BE DISSUADED IN MY PROJECTION OF SINISTERNESS ON JANE'S ACTIONS.
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