Monday, December 9, 2013

Dragonwyck by Anya Seton

DragonwyckDragonwyck is a difficult book to LIKE. And yet its very good. I'm in a quandry...

5 star writing skills
3 star enjoyment
Rounded off to 4 stars

In a nutshell, a country girl has high aspirations and jumps at the chance to leave the farm for an extended visit at her cousin Nicholas' vast estate. (I thought Miranda was much like Hettie from Adam Bede ) Of course, she doesn't know her cousin Nicholas at all; nor does she understand why his corpulent wife, Johanna would rather bury herself in teacakes and pastries than cross him. All she sees is his godlike attributes, magnetism and charm. So when Nicholas' wife, Johanna suddenly dies from 'acute gastritis', Miranda slides right into his arms. And wakes up in a nightmare...

 Its important to understand from the get go that Nicholas is not the hero. He is a sociopath/ egomaniac. ( Think Wolf Larsen, Captain Ahab or even Ted Bundy). So he's not swoonworthy; however, he IS one of the main characters so you see a lot of him. And I was ready to get shed of him much sooner than was the case! But you know, that in itself was skilful writing because the reader could genuinely enter into the heroine's world and feel what she felt.

 For those of us who have a hard time understanding why someone stays in an abusive relationship instead of 'just leaving ', this book opens our eyes to what manipulation really is. How background plays a part (in both the victim and the abuser), how an abusive person 'recognizes ' their next victim, and how the web is spun so expertly that the victim hardly knows they're caught until theyre stunned powerless to fight...

And I suppose its knowing that there's really people like this that takes it out of the realm of what I would term enjoyable "escapism fiction".


SEX : None shown to reader explicitly but marital rape is obviously an issue on several occasions.

VIOLENCE: domestic violence shown mostly in the form of mental intimidation and physical domination.

PROFANITY : Very mild

PARANORMAL ELEMENTS : laughing and piano playing is heard by two characters on different occasions when no one else heard it. Whether it was mental illness or ghosts is not clarified.

MY RATING : Strong PG or mild PG-13

No comments:

Post a Comment