Friday, September 17, 2010
BBAW DAY 4: FORGOTTEN TREASURES
I apologize for posting late again. I spent all day yesterday and last night entering Blogmania giveaways! I'm surprised I can even type...I think I have carpal tunnel...LOL! Anyway, I did do some thinking on this topic and I thought back to a few books that I read before I started my book blog that were so great that they have really stuck with me. I never hear these mentioned around the blogs, even from bloggers that tend to read books that have been out for awhile. So...without further ado, I give you....
This book is a retelling of the Jekyll and Hyde story from a maid's point of view. Some of you may remember the film of the same name that starred Julia Roberts and John Malkovich. The movie was not well-liked, but I actually liked it. It was very atmospheric. Naturally, I sought out the book when I found out the movie was based on a novel. The book is better than the movie, of course. What I liked about this story is how the character of Mary is deftly inserted into the story as more than just an average victim (although she's not a victim in the traditional sense). Through Mary, we see more of the kindness of Dr. Jekyll and more of the pure evil of Mr. Hyde. And Mary has had a tough life herself, which further adds to the story. In the afterword, it is implied that this story was based on the actual journals of a real Mary Reilly. Whether this is fact or just another part of the book, I'm not sure. But it adds to the story. And the three possible explanations that are given for the mysterious case of Jekyll and Hyde just make the story more intriguing.
On Midsummer's Eve, 1974, Annie Raft arrives with her daughter Mia in the remote Swedish village of Blackwater to join her lover Dan on a nearby commune. On her journey through the deep forest, she stumbles upon the site of a grisly double murder--a crime that will remain unsolved for nearly twenty years, until the day Annie sees her grown daughter in the arms of one man she glimpsed in the forest that eerie midsummer night.
I had to give you a synopsis on this one because it's been several years since I read it. However, it's such a good book that, although some plot details may be forgotten, the overall terrific storytelling of Ekman has stayed with me. Swedish authors continue to impress me. John Ajvide Lindqvist (Let Me In or Let the Right One In), and Stieg Larssen (The Millenium Trilogy) are a couple of note. Based on this book, Ekman deserves her place among them. She has a few more novels translated to English and I can't wait to read them.
...two cousins reunite twenty years after a childhood prank gone wrong changed their lives and sent them on their separate ways. "Cousin Howie," the formerly uncool, strange, and pasty ("he looked like a guy the sun wouldn't touch") cousin has become a blond, tan, and married millionaire with a generous spirit. He invites his cousin Danny (who as an insecure teenager left him hurt and helpless in a cave for three days) to help him renovate an old castle in Germany. To reveal too much would ruin the story...
It's definitely a creepy read. It has a genuinely gothic feel, which isn't surprising since it's partially set in an old castle that "Cousin Howie" is renovating to make a luxury hotel. I really can't say too much for fear of giving away important events, but suffice it to say that there is a twist that will take your breath away...well, it did mine anyway.
These are three of my forgotten treasures, but not really forgotten because their ultimate essence has stayed with me over the years. I highly recommend that you check them out. And please don't come back and kill me if you end up hating them! =O)