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Friday, February 27, 2009

Midnight is a Lonely Place by Barbara Erskine

Copyright: 1994
Pages: 432

It almost causes me physical pain to write this about a woman whose work I so publicly worship but...I found this book to be a major disappointment. This is an older one of hers but if you're working your way through her back catalogue like me, you can probably skip this one.

There are a few reasons I think it didn't quite measure up.

Firstly and most obviously, the story was missing the rich tapestry of historical information I have come to expect from her novels. She did create a minor story and there is some reflection on Roman times but it really failed to capture the heartbeat of history. Instead, it flailed around some jealous love triangle and left me completely detatched to the plight of these people from the past.

Secondly, I really don't understand the deal with the poet boyfriend. Maybe women in 1994 didn't expect quite so much from their life partners but I didn't really buy it all. Kate seemed so weak. I still don't understand why she didn't just tell both her love interests to bugger off. Neither of them were exactly prince charming.

Thirdly, the whole ghost thing was really overdone. I mean, if I wanted to read that stuff, I would've read an out and out horror novel. It didn't even really scare me (and I'm a big fraidy cat!). Can 2000 year old ghosts transport cars into the middle of lakes? I don't think so...

I would really only recommend this book to die hard fans of Erskine who read her novels for their spooky side rather than the historical fiction. It had excellent potential but it just fell flat for me.
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