Gon Portnoi Portnoi itibaren Koral, Odisha 765015, Hindistan
Vida Winter is a bestselling author—a modern day Charles Dickens—but her past is entirely unknown; she gives one interview per year and always lies. Then, out of the blue, she hires bookstore clerk and amateur biographer Margaret Lea to take down her life story. The majority of the novel comprises Winter's history as transcribed by Margaret, and Margaret's own life and investigations. The mood of the piece intentionally harkens back to various gothic novels, particularly Jane Eyre; the plot involves a family in a mouldering manner house, plagued by madness, a ghost, and unworldly twins who are possibly the product of incest. This is all dynamically presented, and the twist, when it arrives, is quite clever, exactly the type of narrative trick I admire; if I weren't so lazy, I would check back and do things like track pronouns, see how the book could be reread in light of new knowledge, and I'm sure it would all work perfectly. However, despite the novel's excellent atmosphere and underlying cleverness, it failed to emotionally engage me. The ending both goes on forever and seems too pat, and I was simply never...moved? Stirred? The sweeping emotions that a good gothic novel can evoke—the kind that make you want to take a wander on the moors even if you yourself live in sunny California—were unfortunately absent. This book never moved beyond the intellectual for me; it never affected my heart.
I didn't like the 'heroine' at all. Her 'inner turmoil' and 'struggles' annoyed me to no end. If readers want to have a go with the Beauty and the Beast concept, I would recommend Teresa Medeiros over this book.