Friday, September 3, 2010
authors, Barbara Michaels (real name-- Barbara Mertz). Its first publication was 1978, and it has come out in several more editions since, like all of Michaels' novels, it is popular.
I liked this one from the outset with its strong heroine, Carla Tregellas, and her love interest, Michael. The setting is Cornwall where Carla has just inherited the family castle. Cornwall has long been one of my favorite destinations for Gothic novels-- the pounding surf on the rocky shore and nefarious goings on. What more could one ask for? This novel has some interesting twists involving legends of mermen and other cool stuff. I highly
recommend it, and you can't beat that freaky cover, right? I guess that is the merman.
Characterization: 4.5/5 [I give this high marks because I still remember the heroine and her love interest as well as other characters from the novel, and I last read this one again about two years ago. That, for me, means the characters are very well drawn. Also, the hero does ballet which I think is an unusual choice or at least one I have not encountered in a Gothic romance before. That's a win in my book!]
Plot: 4/5 [This novel keeps moving. There were a couple strange plot choices, but overall, I thought the story was extremely suspenseful. In Gothic novels, I like to want to keep reading. This book is one where you are propelled to the end.]
Atmosphere/spooky stuff: 5/5 [Legends of ghostly mermen and a creepy ancestral castle make this one a must read. The atmosphere never lets up; the last pages, in fact, are spooky/creepy and still stick with me. I like the novel as well for its "modern" feel in the midst of the spooky stuff.]
Literary or not: 4/5 [Heck yes, this one is literary. It's a Michaels' novel, after all. If you like novels with history, legend, and a variety of other disciplines thrown in, you can't go wrong with this novel or any of her works.]
** Don't miss this one! :)