Publisher: Titan Books
Price: £ 7.99
This novel starts as any novel in the period/gothic collection should. It is unassuming, simple and easy to follow. Also the names fit in to the genre perfectly, they are comic in some respects but aren't really...odd but you'll see what I mean. This is the story of Charlotte Markham, her students, her unrequited love and a crazy arsed other world!
I thoroughly enjoyed Charlotte's sarcasm and the threats she made to the boys when referring to their misbehaviour (it reminded me of a Mummy Geek moment I may share with you one day). Charlotte is of course the heroine but I'm not totally sure that I liked her. The fact that she thinks about Mr Darrow in a soppy way and the continuous feebleness that seems to surround her where he is concerned did tick me off. However, it fits in with the genre of the book. Yes she does end up kicking arse, but she is nimby pimby on occasion.
The actual House of Darkling is not as creepy as you expect upon its first discovery, the place falls more in to the realm of bizarre, but do not be fooled! It gets seriously creepy! As death and politics are discussed in more details in Darkling/The Ending the sinister tone is cemented and you pretty much know where you stand with this book. The not knowing what turn the novel is going to take does provide a lot of the enjoyment, however, when the novel settles, the fact that the debate of death is pivotal is VERY settling as you can relate to it in one way or another....well at least I could.
There are a few cases of a story in a story and they send you through a wave of different emotions. The first one is VERY creepy and unsettling and starts to draw you in to the creepy realm of Darkling. The second story, despite its grotesque elements is more hopeful. The third one is really really tragic and made me sad. I am not 100% sure I understood the 'morals' of these tails but I think there were some.....
The brilliant conformities to the Bronte type novel were fantastic and you can tell the book was well written as they didn't seem out of place, even when the total craziness began! Boccacino even included the old school sexual tension typical to this type of novel, and I am pleased about that even though it lowered Charlotte on the heroine scale. The people of The Ending trying to recreate/submerse themselves in the more human aspects of life were also brilliant and you could see a hint of parody. OOO I also fully enjoyed the old British sentimentality of a cup of tea solves everything! I know that Boccacino is American and the book is full of Americanisms but I can't help but think that this is a UK based story.
OOOO, also, the ending fitted perfectly in my eyes! And that is all I'm saying about that!
I am sure that there is a lot that could be said about this book and it could be dissected to pieces with genre comparisons, character parallels etc etc, blah blah. That is not me! I like to read a book and enjoy it (or not) and I did enjoy this one!
OOOO OOOO before I go, I read one of the best tweets ever in reference to this book from @hughes_books '2 cups Jane Eyre, 6oz of lovecraft and a tbsp of Tim Burton with ice cream #literarysundae' AMAZING!