Tag Archives: gothic

The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins

girlonthetrainAlthough perhaps not the most twisted, surprising whodunit/mystery thriller that I’ve ever read, I do give this book an A for atmosphere. Paula Hawkins did a wonderful job crafting the atmosphere of the novel—which was mostly set in a suburb of London. Yet with the rickety trains and the dark skies and Rachel’s (our primary narrator’s) inner demons, the atmosphere definitely feels a bit gothic. Also, I loved that Hawkins gave us not one, but the perspectives of three unreliable narrators. The first being Rachel, an alcoholic who has blackouts, the second being Megan, a young woman who we find out about a quarter of the way into the novel has died, and sometimes Anna—the woman who Rachel’s husband left her for. In the end, for me, I think the questions that the book poses are much more interested than the answer to the murder mystery. Can addiction be overcome? Is there such a thing as a second chance, a new start? Can you ever trust anyone, even the ones you love?
Hawkins does an excellent job weaving the three women’s perspectives together and creating the rules of her suburban London world. Honestly, though, I’m not a big fan of the thriller genre. I probably wouldn’t have read the novel if I hadn’t heard an interview with Paula Hawkins on one of my favorite BBC podcasts. I’d be interested to read her most recent novel, although I most likely won’t be picking up a mystery again for some time.

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Unspoken (The Lynburn Legacy #1) by Sarah Reese Brennan

unspoken I picked up Unspoken on a whim after I couldn’t find the book I was looking for. It is YA Gothic paranormal romance–all things I love.

Unspoken tells the story of Kami Glass–an aspiring journalist who starts a newspaper at her school in the small, sleepy English town of Sorry-in-the-Vale. Nothing much seems to happen in her hometown, until the return of the family who used be the ancestral lords over the people in the town–the Lynburns. Kami is determined to find out all of their secrets–until she meets Jared, the “other” Lynburn, who is part of a secret that she has been keeping about herself for years. And then there are the strange things happening all over town–attacks, ritual animal killings, strange weather patterns, the fact that the Lynburns actually still own the deeds to most of the town–including her own home. Kami will stop at nothing to uncover the truth–but what will this truth mean for her? Kami, who has been both an outsider and an insider in Sorry-in-the-Vale is about to discover her place in the great secret of the Lynburns.

I very much enjoyed Brennan’s rendering of the modern Gothic novel, set in England. At times I felt the story was a little too over the top–as much as I loved that Kami was a stop-at-nothing investigator, I felt that some of her actions were a bit too unbelievable. I enjoyed the tension and the relationship between Jared and Kami–their telepathic link. However, I think if I was Kami I would have long gone insane with having another voice in my head at all times. I don’t know if it was good enough for me to consider picking up the sequel, but I can tell you that I was definitely entertained.

 

 

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