I few years ago, I became interested in the Gothic novel. I'm talking about the real deal like Mysteries of Udalpho and Melmoth the Wanderer and Vathek for examples. Well, hunting down those books kind of left me cold. Along the way I became curious about modern Gothic novels which brought me back to Joyce Carol Oates.
|Bellefleur, Warner Books, 1981|
Eventually I took the plunge. It wasn't long into the novel that I learned to abandon any pursuit of a linear plot. I just wasn't going to get it. Nor were there any timeline and historical perspectives to latch onto. The Bellefleurs world was a universe unto themselves, high up in their castle above the troubled waters of Lake Noir. Within its walls there lived betrayal, jealousy, madness, magic and mystery, a hermit, a shapeshifter, a murderer and more than one ghost.
I loved it.
As it's now October and the air should be turning crisp enough to see your breath, and as the leaves fall and crackle on the sidewalks, Bellefleur is just the sort of book to lose yourself in. If it sounds like it might be your kind of thing, then give it a shot.