In the High Peaks

Monday, May 17, 2010

Carol Goodman & Arcadia Falls & Gothics!

I dove into Carol Goodman's debut novel Lake of Dead Languages years ago. Compelling, mysterious, a deep, psychological tale of teachers and students at a girl's prep school in the Adirondack Mountains. Although I never hesitated in seeing the book through to the last page, I was disappointed by the ending; in particular, the dark creepiness of the morally frail and faulty adults revealed by the conclusion. I have a bias: I like my dark, creepy tales to have just a bit of hope and redemption at the end. But I still recommend it--Carol Goodman's Lake of Dead Languages is definitely a modern Gothic novel, if you need one for your Gothic Challenge as hosted by Bibliophilic Book Blog.

And Publishers' Weekly has deemed Goodman's newly published Arcadia Falls, a gothic novel. And guess what? As I write this, it is being shipped to my library. So I am going to be finally reading a gothic novel for the Challenge I've taken on.

I'm also considering rereading Mary Shelley's Frankenstein for the Gothic Challenge. If you haven't read it, read it and don't be put off by the title and all the 20th-century silliness that transformed Frankenstein into a ridiculous creature Shelley would never have recognized.

I first read Shelley's novel as a scared-stiff, last-semester-of-college senior and I didn't know when I'd read anything better. The class, The English Novel, taught by the wonderful Miss Jane Corsa, mesmermized me and saved my life that semester. I couldn't bear being thrust into the wide world after graduation. My escape for those last few precious months was the English novel--an enlightened re-reading of Jane Eyre, discovering Middlemarch, The Mill on the Floss, Virginia Woolf, James Joyce, and on it went! Thank you, Miss Corsa!

1 comment:

  1. Judith, I read and reviewed this for the first time earlier in the year. I really enjoyed it as it was completely different from what I had expected.