Monday, April 8, 2013

Julie's Review: Seduction

Summary: From the author of The Book of Lost Fragrances comes a haunting novel about a grieving woman who discovers the lost journal of novelist Victor Hugo, awakening a mystery that spans centuries.  In 1843, novelist Victor Hugo’s beloved nineteen-year-old daughter drowned. Ten years later, Hugo began participating in hundreds of séances to reestablish contact with her. In the process, he claimed to have communed with the likes of Plato, Galileo, Shakespeare, Dante, Jesus—and even the Devil himself. Hugo’s transcriptions of these conversations have all been published. Or so it was believed. Recovering from her own losses, mythologist Jac L’Etoile arrives on the Isle of Jersey—where Hugo conducted the séances—hoping to uncover a secret about the island’s Celtic roots. But the man who’s invited her there, a troubled soul named Theo Gaspard, has hopes she’ll help him discover something quite different—Hugo’s lost conversations with someone called the Shadow of the Sepulcher. What follows is an intricately plotted and atmospheric tale of suspense with a spellbinding ghost story at its heart, by one of America’s most gifted and imaginative novelists. ~amazon.com

Review: Seduction sucked me in by saying it was a historical fiction and it is but it's also a bit more than that too. It's about the seduction of temptation. It is about being pulled into something that is over your head and finding your way out of it.  It's about past lives intermingling with present ones. It's about reconciling with your past and moving forward.

It is a very nuanced novel and you need to pay attention to the details that Ms. Rose is including. They all end up being tied together in the end. About 1/2 way through I thought I had figured it out but Ms. Rose did an excellent job of throwing in a twist that made sense and worked better in the novel. (Hence why she is the writer and I am the reader)

Other than being a huge Les Miserables fan (musical and movie), I don't really know a lot about the man behind the story, Victor Hugo. I had no idea that he wrote much more than that novel and that he was exiled due to his political views. He was a man who was indeed brilliant but was also haunted with a profound sadness when his daughter died. In the beginning stages of his grief he wanted to connect with her so badly that he began to have seances as his home. Not only did he not speak to his daughter via these, he seemed to have opened a portal to Satan himself. It is his journals that lead Jac and Theo on a discovery that will impact their lives and those around them.

Seduction isn't a fast paced novel. Ms. Rose weaves an intricate story around 3 different time periods on Isle of Jersey. The characters in the novel are all engaging and intriguing to keep you pulled in. I would love for Ms. Rose to write a novel surrounding Theo's Great-Aunts, Minerva and Eva. I found them most fascination.

Reincarnation isn't something that fascinates me and I found myself more intrigued by Jac and her family's history, than I did in the weaving of the past lives. I am also curious to see how Jac moves on with her particular gift and if this will finally release her of some of her sadness.

I will definitely find my way to The Book of Lost Fragrances since that focuses on Jac and her family more. As for the other books in the Reincarnationists series, I will have to see.

Final Take: 4/5

Thanks to Amy Bruno at Historical Fiction Virtual Blog Tours for including me in this one!


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