Laura J. W.'s Reviews > A Bloodsmoor Romance

A Bloodsmoor Romance by Joyce Carol Oates
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's review
Nov 25, 2009

it was amazing

Wow...well, my goodness, this one is downright odd, at times bizarre, yet delightful with language that is unique and contemplative, beautiful at the same time as grotesque, and loaded with interesting humor... it's a typical JCO novel. A Bloodsmoor Romance follows Bellefleur in the "American Gothic" Quartet, which also includes Mysteries of Winterthurn and My Heart Laid Bare. Like any book by JCO, if you read it and take it too seriously you will get into trouble with this book right away...even I had to adjust to it, at first I didn't like it as well as other JCO books, but it grew on me as it chugged along with the power of a long, long, long freight train hauling boxcars loaded with trunk loads of human baggage and fuel for the fire of the human spirit, and it became a dear friend (who I will miss). I learned about the book through reading The Journal of Joyce Carol Oates 1973-1982 and loved learning about her writing process, and how much she loved writing this book (which I totally relate to) and found a battered used copy somewhere in my travels, and decided to give it a whirl. Much like Bellefleur, it possesses a life of its own and at its heart beats the drum of the American Dream as it rises and falls in the rhythm of life as it is lived by the individuals in this multi-layered tale. There is a stunning realism that is blended with the wild fantasy of a “gothic romance”...a rogue peddler's son becoming a distinguished gentleman/inventor; runaway daughters finding their way in the world by breaking free of the constraints of familial expectations and traditions of the time. I could keep writing more...but I don't want to give it all away! Give it a chance, and come to it with an open mind.
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Reading Progress

November 25, 2009 – Shelved
August 13, 2010 – Started Reading
August 13, 2010 –
page 5
0.78% "I've been looking forward to reading this book for a long time (too long), especially after reading about it in her journal...JCO is a Gothic master."
September 6, 2010 –
page 54
September 22, 2010 –
page 103
16.09% "I had set this book aside to read "Divisadero" and have welcomed returning to the Zinn sisters, the abducted adopted Zinn daughter, and the language of the 19th c. Gothic Romance that is a social satire...gotta love it! "...Love and work, work and love, an idyll, a true 'romance', yet who (reading the books of JCO) would believe?-for where, precisely, is JCO?" Joyce Carol Oates on writing "A Bloodsmoor Romance"."
October 9, 2010 –
page 266
October 22, 2010 –
page 418
October 22, 2010 –
page 418
65.31% "It just keeps getting better and better..."
November 11, 2010 – Finished Reading

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