Wednesday, April 18, 2012
Joanne Harris - The Evil Seed
When Alice Farrell is drawn to a Grantchester churchyard and reads a strange inscription on Rosemary Virginia Ashley's gravestone, she feels oddly disturbed. And when her former boyfriend Joe returns to Cambridge with his new girlfriend Ginny, Alice is repelled by the ethereal, lavender-eyed beauty - and certain of her evil. Then Alice finds an old diary in Ginny's room and reads the story of Daniel Holmes, who lived in Cambridge forty years earlier, and fell under the fatal spell of Rosemary Ashley. As the two stories intertwine, Alice's suspicions about Ginny increase - until past meets present in a terrifying climax...
Comment: This author has a certain writing style I appreciate a lot. Her stories tend to have this exotic feel, like her characters somehow seem more deep than that appear to be. I'm not sure how to explain, it's like everything is some dark secret that we're only allowed to know little by little and then it makes the whole book look more secretive than what it really is. In this story this feeling is even more obvious because this isn't a romance like the author used us to. Actually this isn't a romantic romance at all, in my opinion. This is suspense, a very suggestive one. Just to explain it better, this was the author's first book, now re-edited. The author herself said in a note how she start writing this book and how her writing evolved from this book on.
Anyway, this story is told in two voices, one in the present in another in the past. Alternatively, we see things happening in one and in another time and what it means to the central characters.
The story is a bit of a mystery about two strange young women, Rosemary in the past and Ginny in the present and how they seem to influence the men around them in a way that we can't help but want to know about and at the same time we start to hope it won't happen. I'm not ruining the story saying what they both do but let's just say there are some harsh scenes, more because of suggestion than actual description.
I have to repeat the idea, this isn't a romance. Don't expect HEA's or beautiful love wishes. The end is...well, it certainly didn't end the way I thought it would, but to the feel of the story I think it's rather appropriate. We also have two characters, Alice and Daniel, one in each time, that want to end up all the trouble Rosemary and Ginny cause and to see their fight is like watching a doomed game. I think there's always a certain sense of hope, one that doesn't go away, but still... I guess it's really a matter of reading and judge for oneself.
I liked it. It's not something I read often, genre speaking, but by this author I usually try anything, because the things I liked by her I really do, so I always try to give her a chance. Like I said I don't want to ruin anyone's reading in case you want to try the book someday so I'm sorry if what I've been saying doesn't seem to make much sense, but let's just say the author does honor the gothic novels she must have read... I recommend the book, for sure.