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« "The Mockingbirds" by Daisy Whitney | Main | November Book Club: "Stiltsville" by Susanna Daniel »

November 06, 2010


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bermudaonion (Kathy)

I'm not really sure what a Gothic novel is either, but I've seen the term used a lot. I may have to read this book just to find out.


I thought a Gothic novel was like Jane Eyre, or Rebecca or Haunting of Hill House or The Thirteenth tale--pretty young things in creepy settings, crazy people locked in attics. Maybe I'll do some research and get back to you!


I think that Kathy and I will be eagerly awaiting what you learn, Kiki!


I think Kiki pretty much has it right. Creepy old houses and estates, and an element of some kind of haunting or ghostly unfinished business. Not sure about the PYT aspect. The Little Stranger, Wuthering Heights and Turn of the Screw are some examples.


agree with everyone here. I highly recommend Michael Cox's 2 novels: The Glass of Time and The Meaning of Night as the best in the genre.


Wikipedia says that "Prominent features of Gothic fiction include terror (both psychological and physical), mystery, the supernatural, ghosts, haunted houses and Gothic architecture, castles, darkness, death, decay, doubles, madness, secrets, and hereditary curses." I have to say, I don't think that TVAOEL should be described as Gothic, by this standard. There is arguable madness (tho the point of the book is that Esme really isn't crazy") and there are secrets, but not the rest of that list.


Well, I found out that the "first" Gothic novel was published in 1764, The Castle of Otranto by Horace Walpole! Yes, castles and all that, but back then, there were also lots of both ghosts and blood. Even RLS's Dr Jeckyll and Mr. Hyde is considered Gothic. Edgar Allen Poe is Gothic. Also, anti-Catholicism is often featured prominently in great Britain's Gothic lit.(who knew? I didn't--but scary monks are Gothic!). Also, if you've read Northanger Abbey you're familiar with Anne Radcliffe's The Mysteries of Udolpho--guess what, written in 1794, it is another early Gothic novel, which Austen was making fun of in NA.

I haven't read Esme, but she doesn't appear Gothic on the cover! Looks a little too cheerful for true Gothic! I think you're right, Gayle!


Great sleuthing, Kiki! No, Esme doesn't seem Gothic at all. I don't know how to explain all of those reviews!

Top Romantic Comedies

Wonderful review! I am a fan of "Gothic" novels, the kind that Kiki mentioned in her comment. Even if this book isn't gothic, it still seems really interesting. Definitely got to add this to my to read list. Thanks for the review!

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