Adam Calhoun's Reviews > Uncle Silas

Uncle Silas by Joseph Sheridan Le Fanu
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Jun 24, 12

Read from June 02 to 19, 2012

I have to admit, this is a book I picked up because I loved the cover. And I was justly rewarded! Lesson learned: always judge a book by its cover, at least before you read it.

Uncle Silas almost feels like a cross between an Edgar Allen Poe and Jane Austen novel. This is a book with a constant and deep sense of foreboding, while the plot is driven by a young heiress' attempt to integrate into society (kind of). In reality, her desires to be part of bourgeois society are deflected by her sickly Uncle Silas and her inability to stick up for herself. What makes this book great is not just the atmosphere, but that there is very real character development for a number of characters.

It's not clear to me why this isn't more well-known by literary types. It has everything you would want; strong female characters (good, evil, in-between), strong character development, reflection on society and one's place in it, and large pieces of plot that are only indirectly explained. It's definitely worth reading.
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