Thursday, May 9, 2013

Seduction: A Novel of Suspense

Three dysfunctional situations in three different centuries are bound together by the ties of drug use and paranormal dabbling in novelist M.J. Rose’s latest production, entitled Seduction. The interwoven stories, set upon the island of Jersey, involve a family of ancient Celts, the 19th-century author Victor Hugo, and a modern journalist named Jacinthe. Jacinthe, who is exploring the history of myths as well as the reasons behind her instability, is reunited with Theo, a friend made as a teenager at a mental hospital in Switzerland.

As Jacinthe is pulled deeper into Theo’s personal drama, her therapist is trying to convince her that her problems are due to unresolved past life regressions. In the meantime, the novel flashes back to Victor Hugo and his attempt to contact his dead daughter by means of séances, which grow more addictive until his encounters with the spirit world threaten to destroy him. Going further back, the book shows a pagan priest preparing for the Roman invasion by invoking his gods in a drug-induced trance, and finding that the gods demand a horrifying expiation. Each story involves the death of a child or young person and the struggle of the survivors to go on living afterwards.

Written in highly descriptive and sensuous prose, Seduction shows the dangers of trying to bend time and space to suit our emotions, when the only true healing is in letting go of the past. While the historical background is well-researched, those who do not believe in reincarnation might have trouble taking the plot seriously.

(This review originally appeared in May 2013 edition of The Historical Novels Review.)

(*NOTE: This book was sent to me by the Historical Novel Society in exchange for my honest opinion.) Share

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