This dark tale of plague and suspicion wrapped up with the supernatural is guaranteed to chill the bones on a cold winter’s night. I loved the Westcountry setting of Porlock Weir and felt the dramatic landscape was superbly realised and juxtaposed with the impressive surroundings of Porlock Manor.
This is the story of a small coastal community with most inhabitants having memories of the time that the village was visited by a Great Pestilence so when the threat of something similar gets swept in by the tide, their sense of horror and impending doom is instantly heightened.
As is usual with Karen Maitland’s books, there are a long and strange cast of characters. It is easy to get lost in the world Karen creates and the line between superstition and reality is deftly drawn.
I liked the inclusion of the historical notes in the book which explained the differences between the two major plague periods and the fact that the type of victim differed between times. I also found the author’s note interesting in that the idea for the novel came partly from contemporary reports of the Ebola virus so the moral dilemmas at the heart of the book, take on a new modern significance.
Light the candles, lock the doors and settle down to be ‘charmed’ by this book!
This dark tale of plague and suspicion wrapped up with the supernatural is guaranteed to chill the bones on a cold winter’s night. Light the candles, lock the doors and prepare to be ‘charmed!’