Previously, I was exposed to author M.J. Rose’s amazing writing with her novel The Book of Lost Fragrances (review here) a little over a year ago. I was struck at how well Rose was able to blend a historical fiction work with her writing style, making it seem as if her writing was perfectly fitted to the time period. Therefore, when I was approached to be a part of the blog tour for her newest book, Seduction, I was happy to oblige!
As the plot contains multiple storylines and a bit of history, I’ll leave it to Goodreads:
From the author of The Book of Lost Fragrances comes a haunting novel about a grieving woman who discovers the lost letters of novelist Victor Hugo, awakening a mystery that spans centuries.
In 1843, novelist Victor Hugo’s beloved nineteen-year-old daughter drowned. Ten years later, Hugo began participating in hundreds of séances to reestablish contact with her. In the process, he claimed to have communed with the likes of Plato, Galileo, Shakespeare, Dante, Jesus—and even the Devil himself. Hugo’s transcriptions of these conversations have all been published. Or so it was believed.
Recovering from her own losses, mythologist Jac L’Etoile arrives on the Isle of Jersey—where Hugo conducted the séances—hoping to uncover a secret about the island’s Celtic roots. But the man who’s invited her there, a troubled soul named Theo Gaspard, has hopes she’ll help him discover something quite different—Hugo’s lost conversations with someone called the Shadow of the Sepulcher.
What follows is an intricately plotted and atmospheric tale of suspense with a spellbinding ghost story at its heart, by one of America’s most gifted and imaginative novelists.
As I stated previously, one of the best things about reading M.J. Rose’s work is getting to experience her amazing writing style. I’m happy to report that she did not fail us in this particular endeavor, as her use of imagery and ability to describe multiple time periods simultaneously and clearly was a delight to read. Jac and Theo’s flaws are evident, but they are likeable in their own right, and Rose is able to weave both their stories and those of characters from the past effortlessly. Secret fragrances blur the lines between reality and the world of ghosts, as there is a dark and mystical tone overall that kept me riveted from the beginning. My only complaint is that the pacing seemed slightly disjointed at times, but other than that this was just as enjoyable as my first M.J. Rose experience! You can definitely count me as a newly minted fan. This is not one to pass up, so check it out!
4 out of 5 stars
This is my fourteenth completed review for the Historical Fiction Challenge
Seduction by M. J. Rose
Atria Books (2013)
Paperback: 384 pages
Special thanks to Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours for my review copy! Continue following the Seduction virtual book tour around the web. A full listing of all tour spots is here. You can also follow on Twitter by searching the hashtag: #SeductionVirtualTour