Wednesday, August 4, 2010
Author: Karen Essex
Paperback (ARC): 384 pages
Published Date: August 10, 2010
I love Karen Essex. Let me just put that out there right now. I read Leonardo's Swans a while back (my review) and fell in love with the story and her writing. She has this way of writing historical fiction that stays true to historical facts, something I love in an author. So when I heard she came out with Dracula in Love I immediately requested an ARC copy and jumped for joy when I received it (my post on the gorgeous cover). I also have to tell you that I've read Bram Stoker's Dracula quite a few times and also love that book.
Karen Essex's novel is from Mina's perspective as she tells the true story of her and the Count. It is a Victorian Gothic story of love, possession, betrayal, and of course some erotic scenes so yes, there is a bit of sex. But what I found fascinating is how Ms. Essex spun Mina's tale. The story starts off with Mina explaining how this was the true story and not Stoker's more popular fictional tale. Mr. Stoker even makes a cameo in the story which I thought was pretty cool.
While I adored the story and Ms. Essex's writing, I do have to warn you that it does have some a strong women's perspective from a very constrained Victorian society who deemed women as sort of a lesser class than men. For instance, once married most women did not control their property or money. It also shows an interesting spin on the asylum where Van Helsing is employed. **Side note: I had recently watched the Leonardo DiCaprio movie Shutter Island and found it's portrayal of the asylum very much like the one in this book. Very interesting.
My only gripe with the book is towards the end. I thought her explanation for the Count and Mina's attraction to each other was kind of, well, out of the blue. But it didn't detract my enjoyment of this highly Gothic love story. I've noticed another Mina/Dracula book out there called Dracula, My Love by Syrie James. I am really curious to see how the two compare. I will try hard and get my hand on a copy of that novel.
Now on to the giveaway!!
I asked Maxwell Brown at Random House if I could PLEASE have a copy to giveaway and he sent one to me ASAP! Woohoo! So I have a special ARC available to one lucky reader. Again my giveaway is open internationally. Here's the deal:
1) Please leave a comment with your email address (or blog address) telling me why you want to read this and if you are a fan of Stoker's version or any other vampire stories/movies/etc. Come on, talk to me!
2) I will give you an extra entry if you comment on my new blog A Library of My Own. If you only comment on my new blog I'll give you two entries as well.
3) Contest is open until August 17th when I get back from my trip to Alaska. Good luck!