Okay, so school started a few weeks ago, and consequently, I skipped right over September’s Young Adult book club selection. For those who participated in August, I hope you enjoyed On Folly Beach as much as I did. Several people emailed me to say they were reading the book, but didn’t have a chance to finish in time to participate in the online forum. As long as people are finding good books to read, I’m happy.
While we didn’t have a huge turnout for On Folly Beach, I decided I’m going to keep at the virtual book club, if only to encourage myself to keep reading for pleasure during the school year. Anyone who’d like to read along with me is welcome, and I’ll post some discussion questions at the end of the month in case people want to chime in.
For October’s Gothic novel month, I’ve chosen a few contemporary Gothic novels that have been getting good buzz. Our good friend Wikipedia defines Gothic fiction as “a genre of literature that combines elements of both horror and romance… the effect of Gothic fiction feeds on a pleasing sort of terror, an extension of Romantic literary pleasures.” Sounds like fun, doesn’t it? Instead of selecting classic Gothic novels like Jane Eyre, Dracula, or Frankenstein, I assembled a collection of modern interpretations of the Gothic formula, some based on the classics themselves.
Jane is a modern retelling of Charlotte Brönte’s Jane Eyre. As jealous as I am (my agent is currently trying to sell my second manuscript, a Young Adult book inspired by Jane Eyre), I’ve been dying to read this adaptation, which updates the star-crossed lovers Jane and Rochester as a penniless nanny and a troubled rock star. It doesn’t come out until October 11th, but it might be worth the wait.
The second book, The Forgotten Garden, sounds like a cross between Wuthering Heights and The Secret Garden, complete with an orphan, a wind-whipped Cornwall setting, lots of family secrets, and a mysterious garden shrouded by a thicket. Gothic bliss!
The final option, Out of the Shadows, follows a modern woman, Clara, who finds she is related to Frankenstein author, Mary Shelley. Told alternately through Clara’s narration and Mary Shelley’s letters, the book seems like it might be built around psychological tension rather than genuine suspense, but it sounds intriguing nonetheless.
If any of these sound like winners, leave me a comment with your vote. I’ll be making my decision by the end of September. Hope you’ll join us for a spooky, Gothic October!!