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Posts Tagged ‘gothic romance’

This is the third book I have read by Victoria Holt and I gave the others 4/5 and 4.5/5. I quite enjoyed this one but not to the same extent. Nora Tamsin and her father live a simple happy life, until he leaves England for Australia where he hopes to find gold and make his fortune. When he dies there, Nora moves to Australia and into the care of her father’s friend Charles Herrick, known as the Lynx. She is captivated by his enigmatic charisma and power, but has loving feelings towards his son Stirling. By the time she realises that Lynx is hell-bent on revenge for old grievances, she is too caught up in the family to escape, and finds herself involved in his campaign, which takes her back to a mysterious old house in England.

This is a strange kind of romance with a love triangle of sorts, which only gets more complicated in the last third of the novel. I quite liked Nora, and i loved the character of Minta. However, neither Lynx nor Stirling were particularly likeable and I found it hard to have any sort of feeling for them one way or the other. Lynx was supposed to be this charismatic but cold man, but he just seemed like a power hungry bully.

However the ending was a genuine surprise and I can’t say that I didn’t enjoy the book, just that it did not live up to my expectations after the other books I have enjoyed by this author.

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This is just such a fabulous book. Charlotte Bronte skilfully weaves the tale of Jane Eyre’s life (using Jane herself as the narrator). Jane is an orphan living with callous relatives; when she is sent away to school, she endures more hardships. Her life’s travels take her to Thornfield Hall, where she becomes governess to Adele, the ward of the mysterious and brooding Mr Rochester. Jane falls for Rochester, but all the time there is a dark secret at Thornfield Hall, waiting to reveal itself…

I loved the character of Jane, and felt that she was ahead of her time, in respect of her independent and quick nature. Rochester too, was a fabulous, if not always likeable character. Bronte strayed away from portraying him as a handsome and desired man, and instead made him a very fallible and in many ways unattractive man.  The writing is beautiful and captivating, and the story unfolds gradually, but never too slowly.  I really enjoyed the story of Jane and Rochester, but I equally liked the story of the mysterious woman who lives at Thornfield Hall…

There is so much to this story – many twists and turns, and Jane Eyre is an unlikely but very admirable heroine. Definitely one of the very best books I have read in recent years, with some beautiful writing. It’s easy to see why this is such a well loved books.  It’s definitely one I will reread in the future.

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Click here for my review of the 2006 mini-series.

Click here for my review of the 1943 movie adaptation.

Click here for my review of the 1996 movie adaptation.

Click here for my review of the 1997 movie adaptation.

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