In the High Peaks

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Truly Gothic Reads Heating Up and a Bit of Nonfiction

The traditional gothic is gaining in strength and numbers, I've observed. As I've mentioned before, Victoria Holt's Mistress of Mellyn, which I read as a high school sophomore, was my introduction to modern gothic and that was in 1968. Little did I know then that "gothic suspense" and "gothic romance" were on their way OUT. It was too bad, because after a few more Victoria Holts, some Joan Aikens, and Mary Stewarts, I was certain I wanted to write one myself. But that was in my immature years, and when I finally had the wherewithal to actually apply myself to writing one, the genre was dead and gone.

So my latest contemporary gothic read is The Fate of Mercy Alban by Wendy Webb. I adore the cover, and it's all too possible that I've shown it to you before. All the same, I'm thoroughly enjoying the book on my Nook. It's a very satisfying read for a modern gothic nut.

Wendy Webb wrote an interesting post on her publisher's blog last year concerning her gothic-novel writing.

Nonfiction: I'm whizzing through HRC: State Secrets and the Rebirth of Hillary Rodham Clinton.
I managed to borrow this from the library and that's why I'm zipping through it. It's about Clinton's transformation from New York State senator and 2008 Democratic presidential candidate running against Obama to a position that she never saw herself filling: U.S. Secretary of State. Yes, there's political intrigue, here, but lots of detail of her management of the State Department and all the crises that arose during Obama's first term. Love her or hate her, it doesn't matter, this is a very, very interesting book. I'm learning lots about the State Department and the U.S. handling of foreign affairs, and ok, a little about political dynasties.

I'm also reading lots of books about 17th-century New England, but I won't bore you with that!!

We still have lots of snow, but this week we'll have temps in the 50s all week. I went on a snowshoe trip today with Sasha, but our days as winter adventurers could be counted on one hand.


  1. I really admire Hilary Clinton and this sounds like a fabulous book. All that political intrigue in Washington. However lately I think all I can manage is a gothic novel or two. My brain feels tired. Haha Enjoyed your post, Pam

    1. Pam,
      I know exactly what you mean about your brain! When mine is tired, I don't want to worry about the world, politics, foreign murder mysteries, just give me some plain ol' comfort fodder!

  2. I love that Wendy Webb cover. I also discovered Gothic romance or whatever you want to call it through Victoria Holt. I still got a couple of unread ones here and was thinking of her not too long ago.

    1. Caroline,
      Good gosh! I never meant to leave your comment without an answer so long!
      I agree that the Fate of Mercy Alban cover is right up my alley! I do love it. It's a good read.
      You know, I haven't picked up a Victoria Holt in many, many years. I wonder what it would be like to read her now. I must try it.