This was another book that I got for my birthday. I have become a bit obsessed with Emma Carroll since reading ‘Secrets of a Sun King’, she is effortless in her writing and has the ability to draw me out of whatever I’m doing and let me sink within the words of the book.
Synopsis (as taken from the back of the book) is as follows:
The year of 1816 felt extraordinary, and all because of a strange sort of star in the sky…
LAKE GENEVA, SWITZERLAND
Early one morning, a servant boy named Felix delivers an invitation. Tonight, at the mysterious Villa Diodati, there will be ghost stories that promise to ‘freeze the blood.’
As darkness falls, the guests arrive. The storytelling begins. Then comes an unexpected knock at the door. Felix discovers a girl on the doorstep. She’s travelled a long way to tell her tale, and now he must listen.
But be warned: hers is no ordinary ghost story. Sometimes the truth is far more terrifying.
Ability to read – I have been getting very restless. It is hard to be on a holiday where you can’t do what you love and instead spend vast amounts of time in a hotel by yourself while everyone else is out doing the activity that you can’t. Reading this was an escape for me (I finished it in a morning), and it was so easy to get into what I was reading and to understand what I was reading that it was almost effortless. I don’t have a problem with the language Emma Carroll uses in her novels. I can understand everything that is going on without getting confused by the language and always feel like I’m learning something without it being forced upon my shoulders.
Characterisation – I was so here for all the characters in this book and so many times I caught myself in a theory that proved untrue. I was constantly guessing with this and part of that came from the characters and how they interacted with each other. Felix was strong, courageous and had freedom and hope tattooed on his soul. The inclusion of Mary Shelley and her story woven into the story being told was a nice touch because it made me think outside the box and feel like I was gaining knowledge as well as reading a good book. Lizzie’s character had the most room to grow because of the experiences she goes through at the beginning of the book, I felt like she had the most to prove and I felt like she went above and beyond for her family.
Visualisation – I always find it easy to delve into an Emma Carroll book, she has a unique way of getting you into the thick of things without it appearing too much in either descriptions or information. It was easy for me to visualise what was going on around me and to picture what was happening in 1816. This story offered so much in terms of description and detail that I almost felt like I was standing next to the characters and part of the story.
Uniqueness – Frankenstein is a difficult book to read (for me at least), this story offered an alternate to Mary Shelley, a chance to see her before the publication of her book and it also told a story of many layers and many characters. It was emmersive and complex and oddly chilling and haunting. There were so many aspects of this that I enjoyed and it will be a book I know I’ll be able to come back to time and time again.