Sarah Waters is a wonderful writer! This is my least favorite of her first three novels that I've read, but that doesn't mean it's bad in any way. The twist at the end was good, but it did bum me out. I'm swapping this copy, but there is no way anyone could pry my copies of "Fingersmith" or "Tipping the Velvet" from my grubby hands, lol. I believe this was her 2nd novel, and as such I think more authors would wish for a "sophomore slump" like this one. Her language is beautiful, like always, and she has a great way of describing scenes and people. Wonderful gothic Victorian feel.
I've read my fair share of horror novels, but nothing ever as gruesome as this novel. It's twisted in a way that really doesn't mean anything as far as I could tell. This was no grand commentary on society, this was just GROSS.
An imaginative fable grounded in realistic detail, this first novel follows the metamorphosis of August Chalmin, a socially awkward, lonely 30-something Londoner with "upright blood-orange hair which limbo danced crazily from his head, as though a madman lived there, leaping from a burning attic." Such vibrant language is one of the charms of the novel, along with its highly original premise: over the course of a year, August's body undergoes a series of peculiar changes tied to the seasons. His skin turns blue and an icicle dangles from his ear in the fall and winter. In the spring, his body begins to bud, sprouting small leaves and branches. August wants to believe these developments are some kind of allergic reaction, perhaps to a cheese in the gourmet delicatessen where he works. But the real cause is the unexpected appearance of Cosmo Rodriguez-a former lover of his mother's, and a menacing figure from August's childhood, who recently moved into the neighborhood. Raised haphazardly on a commune by his mother, Olivia, August has always believed his real father was dead, but begins to worry that Cosmo, whom he's never liked, might be the one. The search for his origins propels this oddly convincing story of transformation, which leaves August finally feeling "good in his skin" for the first time in his emotionally stunted life. Mournful, quietly suspenseful and gently surreal, August's story is a haunting-if occasionally slow-moving-whimsy that marks the arrival of a talented newcomer.
Countess Erzebet Bizecka appears to have everything a young woman in 16th century Hungary--or any woman anywhere, for that matter--could want. She is rich and beautiful. She lives in an enormous castle, attended by dozens of servants. There is no one, now that her parents have died, to make any demands of her. She is free to live her life in any way she wishes.
But life wasn't always this way. Her insane mother and judgemental fatehr never felt that she was beautiful enough. And for all her outward defiance, deep inside, Erzebet agreed with them.
When Erzebet discovers the power of the blood ritual, she feels reborn. It's very simple: willing servants give her some of their blood and Erzebet bathes in it. The mythic power of the blood ritual makes Erzebet more beautiful and more powerful than she ever dreamed possible, for the blood is the life.
But once Erzebet tastes power, her need for it increases. And when a handsome stranger appears, whispering of new and dangerous ways to conduct the blood ritual, Erzebet sets off on a path that leads to a very dark place indeed.
In this gothic novel,author Alisa M. Libby has woven strands of the real-life Countess Bathory's story into a spellbinding work that combines horror, romance, and history into one powerful story.
Karim Amir lives with his English mother and Indian father in the routine comfort of suburban London, enduring his teenage years with good humor, always on the lookout for adventure--and sexual possibilities. Life gets more interesting, however, when his father becomes the Buddha of Suburbia , beguiling a circle of would-be mystics. And when the Buddha falls in love with one of his disciples, the beautiful and brazen Eva, Karim is introduced to a world of renegade theatre directors, punk rock stars, fancy parties, and all the sex a young man could desire. A love story for at least two generations, a high-spirited comedy of sexual manners and social turmoil, "The Buddha of Suburbia" is one of the most enchanting , provocative, and original books to appear in years.
This book is a fictionalized account of the real life conjoined twins Chang and Eng Bunker who were born in the Kingdom of Siam in 1811. They were joined together at the chest by a seven inch long ligmament that contained part of their stomach, the only organ they shared. They had different personalities and needs, and different opinions on their unusual condition. Brought to America in 1825 by an unscrupulous promoter, Chang & Eng eventually married sisters, settled down and produced 21 children between the 2 of them.
This book is an interesting take on what Chang & Eng's lives might have been like.
In "Doin' the Box Step", Suzanne Falter-Barns gives us a zany comedy of manners about a young woman's return to her childhood home, the fiance she brings along to meet her mother, and the fireworks that follow.
It's been six years since Chelsea Cox set foot in Beechwood, an ultra-WASPy Philadelphia suburb where Lacoste shirts and blunt cuts are de riguer. Not it's Christmas and Chelsea is getting married.
The lucky man? Bennett Edwards, a stuffy, suspendered-and-bow-tied Princeton grad who subscribes to The Wall Street Journal and reads Town & Country cover to cover. Chelsea's mother is overjoyed. Her scapgrace daughter has finally forsworn her bohemian ways and is about to settle down. But then Mrs. Cox actually meets Bennett, and she's not so sure. For Bennett just happens to be black.
No one in Beechwood wants to be labeled a racist. But after sneaking off for a quickie in the pool house with a childhood sweetheart, even Chelsea begins to question her motives for marrying Bennett. And then there's the problem of Mrs. Cox, who is about to be driven past the point of despair by her daughter's latest lifestyle choices.
"Doin' the Box Step" is a funny and tender story of rebellious love, difficult intimacy, aand the age-old conflict between mother and daughter.