(No, the image did not load sideways. This is exactly what the cover looks like.)
Let me just say, when you turn the last page of the book...then take a moment to fully accept that it is in fact the last page and it is REALLY ending like that... and STILL want to throat-punch one of the characters... THAT'S A GOOD BOOK!!!
Let me also say, as usual, the book is better than the movie. Don't get me wrong. I loved the movie. I adore Joan Crawford in all of her diva-ness. But the movie is only about 50% like the book. And the book is 100% incredible!!
No spoilers. Read the book. Do not expect the same plot as the movie.
And when you too turn that last page and realize EVERYTHING that happened... have a fluffy pillow near by because punching anything else might hurt. And you're going to want to punch something. Trust me.
So true. This entire novel was an exercise in 'reality': Humbert's, Dolores', Charlotte's... The fact that Lolita is Humbert's reality of Dolores... (That won't make sense unless you've read the book.) One of the publishers who refused to print Lolita said it was because the novel had no 'good guys'. Nabokov said the book was without moral. There are no redeeming characters or qualities. It presents itself as its own reality without apology. It exists. It explains. It does not justify. It made me squirm. It fascinated me.
I will read it again.
On a side note, two characters in this story talked about Jane Austin's Northanger Abbey, referring to its 'haunted' passages. Personally, I don't care for Ms. Austin (I know, I know) but not remembering much about Northanger Abbey, I thought maybe I had missed something. I pulled up a LibriVox recording of it and gave it a fresh listen. Nope. Still don't like her. But thanks, Matthew J. Kirby, for refreshing my love of Mary Shelley, the mother of dark fiction. I think she would've appreciated your story.
Here is where I'm trying not to spoil the big plot twist. But it's also the point where we get to the other hand. The part where I say, Wait... what?! I kept reading and although I truly enjoyed the book as a whole, there were many parts where I had to wade through thick oceans of detail that later didn't seem to mean anything anymore. New characters with heavy backstories that broke you heart but were not referred to again after only few chapters. It's worth the read. But be prepared for the journey. And a BIG plot twist... but not the twist you think it will be.. at first. (Yeah, it's like that.)
Oh Kirsty Stonell Walker, you are my kind of author! (From her Amazon bio, We Are Villians All is "a murder mystery centered on the lives of a Victorian poet and his best friend, a photographer.") While, yes, this is the general story, We Are Villains All is so much more. It does a fantastic job of sucking you into the story and holding you there to the plot-twisting end. Rich in detail and totally livable, you walk along side all of the characters, rooting for them, aching with them, or wanting to scratch their eyes out.
Anything I would say to describe this book would also describe the flower: beautiful, sweet, tender, delicate, powerful, a beautiful memory.
Hazel Gaynor used my favorite writing genre (historical fiction) to bring this lovely story to life. And inspired my own research into the real saga of the 'flower girls' of the Victorian streets. This book was suggested to me by a student and I am so grateful!! (I knew I should take her recommendation; she knows her stuff. She's been on Jeopardy.) ;-)
I had intended to read Wilkie Collins's work for some time now. I saw a stage version of The Moonstone in Athens (Second Stage Series by Town & Gown) a few months back and it was wonderful. So maybe that re-energized my desire. (Actually it was more likely that my hubby bought me a book of his collections from one of our favorite book stores.) As is the case with most short story collections, there were some awesome ones and some 'ok' ones. But as always, a good read.
Read any good books lately?
I read more than just classic novels. This is where I post about recent books I have read. Have you read the same book? Got a different opinion? Let me know! I'd love to hear about it.