Monday, June 16, 2014

Seduction by M.J. Rose

Every story begins with a tremble of anticipation. At the start we may have an idea of our point of arrival, but what lies before us and makes us shudder is the journey, for that is all discovery. This strange and curious story begins for me at the sea. Its sound and scent are my punctuation. Its movements are my verbs....This is the story of a lost man. An exile not just from his beloved country but also from his sanity. I believe it to be a true and honest account. Whether or not you will, I know not.

 There are two story lines in this novel, one set in the past, one in the present. They intersect in unexpected ways on the Isle of Jersey. The first involves Victor Hugo. Grieving the death of his favorite daughter, Leopoldine, Hugo seeks answers in table talking and seances. And though he does manage to contact his daughter's spirit, he also contacts something else. Something far more sinister. The second story line, set in the present, revolves around Jac L'Etoile, a mythologist who investigates legends and the truth behind the myths. When an old friend invites her to Jersey to investigate some ancient Celtic ruins that might prove the Druidic myth, she leaps at the chance. But what she finds there is more haunting and personal than she could ever have imagined.

There are so many things that I loved about this novel: the island setting with its Celtic monuments and its ruins and secret caves, the ghostly mystery, this previously (to me, at least) unknown, ghost-driven side of Victor Hugo, and, last but not least, M.J. Rose's beautiful writing. What didn't I like? Rose throws in an additional story line near the end that threw me a little, and I have to admit, I kept wishing it was a little more suspenseful and scary. Overall, though, it's an engrossing read, and the different stories and timelines are interesting. While the Victor Hugo parts were my favorite, I found Jac L'Etoile to be a sympathetic and engaging character. And now that I'm done with this novel, I'd like to read Rose's other books; I hope they're as good as this one.

Happy Reading!


  1. This sounds like an interesting read. And just from reading your review, I have already learned something today (about Victor Hugo and his family!). Thanks!

    1. Who knew he was so into spiritualism and seances? I think he even kept transcripts of his table tapping sessions. Now those would be interesting to read.

  2. This sounds really interesting, thanks for sharing your thoughts :)