Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Dracula in Love - Review

Title: Dracula in Love
Author: Karen Essex

Synopsis: “London, 1890. Mina Murray, the rosy-cheeked, quintessentially pure Victorian heroine, becomes Count Dracula’s object of desire. To preserve her chastity, five male “defenders” rush in to rescue her from the vampire’s evil clutches. This is the version of the story we’ve been told. But now, from Mina’s own pen, we discover that the story is vastly different when told from the female point of view.”

Review: This retelling of Dracula from Mina's point of view was wonderful! What if the vampire wasn’t the bad guy? What if the bad guys were the men trying to prevent women from gaining a foothold in Victorian Society? This book provides illuminating insight into the struggles of women during the Victorian era. Parts of Dracula in Love made me angry. In particular the number of women being diagnosed with “female hysteria”, a man’s attempt to control strong women, pissed me off. The Count was as sexy as ever, and I loved Essex’s portrayal of Mina as a strong woman through the ages.
I love gothic novels. Give me a creepy setting, dark characters, maybe throw in a dungeon and a foggy cemetery, or a deserted castle at night and I’m in heaven. Many of my favorite books are considered “gothic romances”. Bram Stoker’s Dracula in particular is one of the books that I read over and over. Thus said, I strongly recommend that readers read Dracula before reading Dracula in Love. I loved this novel, but I don’t feel that it would have had the same impact on me had I not been familiar with Bram Stoker’s Dracula. Dracula in Love is going on my “keeper” shelf.

Publisher: Doubleday
ISBN: 978-0385528917

If you like this book you may want to read:

The Historian by Elizabeth Kostova (ISBN: 978-0316070638)

The Master of Blacktower by Barbara Michaels (ISBN: 978-0060878146)

Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte (ISBN: 978-0143106159)

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