Sunday, October 10, 2010

Dracula, My Love: The Secret Journals of Mina Harker by Syrie James

"Acclaimed author Syrie James approaches Bram Stoker's classic DRACULA with a breathtaking new perspective -- as, for the first time, Mina Harker records the shocking story of her scandalous seduction and sexual rebirth."
(from the publisher)

my thoughts:

Set against the backdrop of the charming and elegant Victorian period, this fascinating mystery and passionate love story kept me turning the pages well into wee hours. I've thoroughly enjoyed the previous two novels by Syrie James (The Lost Memoirs of Jane Austen and The Secret Diaries of Charlotte Bronte), and Dracula, My Love was no was haunting and thrilling.

While her fiance' is in Transylvania on business, Mina embarks on an innocent seaside holiday in Whitby with her best friend, Lucy Westenra and Lucy's mother. Both young ladies are properly engaged to be married soon, so they spend their days leisurely reading, walking, and enjoying the sights. Their tranquil vacation is disrupted when a terrifying event occurs...a ship appears in port, the entire crew is missing, and the captain's corpse (clutching a crucifix) is tied to the helm. A series of very strange and eerie events begin to occur. Lucy begins to sleepwalk, compelled to leave her bedroom and wander out into the night. At the same time, Mina makes the acquaintance of a very handsome and charming gentleman. Knowing that proper young ladies do not befriend strange men, Mina tries to resist his invitations to spend time together, but she is inexplicably and irresistably drawn to him.

It is then that the horrors begin...Mina's quiet life begins to be one of a nightmare. Who is this mysterious man who has taken over Mina's heart, body, and mind? Who or what is responsible for a series of tragedies that begin to occur to the people she loves?

Dracula, My Love is an interesting twist on Bram Stoker's portrayal of Dracula as an ancient, reclusive monster -- while the perception is that Dracula is a dangerous and monstrous creature, Mina experiences a passionate and tender side of this misunderstood figure. She learns of his origin and sympathizes with his immortal agony. While his actions appear to the world to be vile and horrific, Mina begins to understand a different side of the story -- and is forced to make a choice about the two men she loves.

4/5 stars

Title: Dracula, My Love
Author: Syrie James
457 pages
genre: historical mystery, horror


Svea Love said...

I have this book awaiting me on the shelf! Definitely looking forward to it :)

Joanne said...

Hi, Svea -- Syrie James writes well-researched, period-authentic novels and I enjoy them very much. I hope you will, too!

Meredith said...

I loved this one too! Glad you enjoyed it! Syrie James is a wonderful author!

Joanne said...

Meredith -- I agree! I can't wait to see what she plans for her next novel.

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A Light on the Veranda
The Queen's Vow: A Novel Of Isabella Of Castile
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Howards End
Lady's Maid
Instruments Of Darkness
When Maidens Mourn
Where Shadows Dance
What Remains of Heaven
Where Serpents Sleep
Why Mermaids Sing
When Gods Die
Before Ever After
The Sugar Queen
Garden Spells
After the Night

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