|Ignore that this picture doesn't include my watch--I forgot to put it on until after this was taken.|
|Maybe the socks were a little overkill.|
- Quick pregnancies (doesn't matter if you've only had sex once or twice, it's a bad, shameful thing and you will be punished, ha)
- Family drama
- Creepy, big houses
- Abusive parents (emotionally and/or physically)
This list was pretty much put together after reading too many V.C. Andrews novels (too many? that can't be right...) and Shadow of the Wind. Just how many things from this list pop up in Shadow of the Wind?
All of them! Also featured in the book: a beautiful blind girl (having an affair nefarious piano teacher, of course); aftermath of a war; an evil policeman/psychopath; a shadowy villain (or hero?) who has suffered from third degree burns; a secret marriage; letters that never reach their destination!, and letters that do; travels to and from Paris; prostitutes galore; an insane asylum and old people's home (I don't actually know if I'm making this up anymore); a somewhat magical pen, once used by Victor Hugo himself; a sweet but seriously uninvolved father; and fun friends (I adore Fermin). So with all of that, you know that I completely loved this book, hated my job (because I just wanted to finish the book), and will need to search for this author's other books to see if they're just as awesome.
Some problems kept this book from being a 5-star rating for me (I put it at 4/5): Good grief, I could not keep up with what year we were in and how much time had passed.
I needed a couple of the characters fleshed out some more. For example, Bea? I'm not really feeling her. It's not that I don't like her. I just don't care either way, but our main character and our shadowy villain (or hero?!) think she's the bee's knees. Bea's brother? Aww, we could have done more with him. One second he's our main character's best friend, then he's dropped for beautiful blind girl, then he's back and hanging with Fermin, then he's kind of replaced by both Fermin and Bea.
Also...I don't think I like Julian. I thought he was pretty ungrateful to...well, everybody, including his best friend that died in his place (how could I forget to add morgue visits and misidentified bodies to the list above?!), his best friend's wife that I really wish he would have treated better, and I even felt annoyed at how he used his biological father and his half-brother to get closer to Penelope. Dude, you're way selfish all the time. Reign it in.
I Googled "gothic novels" for us, by the way. Wikipedia says: Gothic fiction, sometimes referred to as Gothic horror, is a genre or mode of literature that combines elements of both horror and romance. Is incest the combination of horror and romance--is that why it keeps cropping up?!