I love the hard cover design of this novel. It looks like the Old South to me and is mysterious and wistful.
This novel was published in 1991 and is one of Whitney's later works. As I've mentioned before, I prefer her earlier gothic romance novels. Woman Without a Past didn't change my mind on that.
The novel moves slowly to its conclusion, and the most appealing character was Honoria Phelps.
Characterization 3/5: Twins are part of the central story here, and Whitney handles them well at first, but there is little tension after the first third of the novel. Honoria Phelps is spritely and easy to picture. I do like some of the names in the novel: Amelia Mountfort and Cecelia Mountfort-- very pretty.
Plot 3/5: The plot moved too slowly for me, and the abduction mystery just left me feeling "meh." I picked the novel up and put it back down many times. Also, Molly's meeting with Charles Landry was so contrived/annoying from the outset that it colored the rest of the novel for me.
Atmosphere/spooky elements 2/5: Very few. The twin thing and birthmarks, etc. was interesting, but there was little suspense or spookiness to the novel and that was with a "ghost," a pyschic, and more.
Literary elements 3/5: The history of Charleston, South Carolina is interesting. If you like Southern settings, you might check this one out. I'm not sure Whitney fully captured it, but she did a nice job with some of the details.
Romantic elements 3/5: I like the red herrings Whitney threw in early in the novel, but overall, this book wasn't terribly romantic. It's one that I would have liked a different ending/choice of lovers for.
Rating: almost 3 stars-- **+
I recommend this if you're a big fan of Southern settings (maybe) or a diehard Whitney fan.
Thursday, April 21, 2011
Tuesday, April 19, 2011
I hope you enjoy this live performance of Gordon Lightfoot singing his song, "If you Could Read My Mind." It evokes images of gothic novels for me, and it was written in the heyday of the era. Here are the lyrics from the song (1969).
If you could read my mind, love, What a tale my thoughts could tell. Just like an old time movie, 'Bout a ghost from a wishing well. In a castle dark or a fortress strong, With chains upon my feet. You know that ghost is me. And I will never be set free As long as I'm a ghost that you can't see. If I could read your mind, love, What a tale your thoughts could tell. Just like a paperback novel, The kind the drugstores sell. Then you reached the part where the heartaches come, The hero would be me. But heroes often fail, And you won't read that book again Because the ending's just too hard to take! I'd walk away like a movie star Who gets burned in a three way script. Enter number two: A movie queen to play the scene Of bringing all the good things out in me. But for now, love, let's be real; I never thought I could feel this way And I've got to say that I just don't get it. I don't know where we went wrong, But the feeling's gone And I just can't get it back. If you could read my mind, love, What a tale my thoughts could tell. Just like an old time movie, 'Bout a ghost from a wishing well. In a castle dark or a fortress strong. With chains upon my feet. But stories always end, And if you read between the lines, You'd know that I'm just tryin' to understand The feelin's that you lack. I never thought I could feel this way And I've got to say that I just don't get it. I don't know where we went wrong, But the feelin's gone And I just can't get it back!
Do you have a gothic romance theme song? :)