Category Archives: British Literature

A Dark-Adapted Eye by Barbara Vine

Synopsis: When a true-crime writer comes to Faith Severn asking for corroboration of the details he’s unearthed about her murderess aunt, Faith’s reminiscences build a very different portrait of the family that has been both dear and alien to her over the years, casting new light on very old secrets. Review: I have read several books by Barbara Vine and her alter ego Ruth Rendell, and this is by far my favorite. She excels at characterization; none of her creations can be neatly encapsulated by…

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The Thirteenth Tale by Diane Setterfield

Synopsis: When a bookish woman is contracted to write the biography of a famous author known to lie about herself, she discovers shocking truths that lead her to reconcile with her own tragic past. Review: Steeped in the Brontes, DuMaurier, Wilkie Collins, and The Turn of the Screw, this book is at once a throwback to the 19th century and a thoroughly modern reinvention of the gothic story. Setterfield lovingly lifts generic tropes from these classic tales while weaving a story that is utterly hypnotizing…

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