From the author of The Book of Lost Fragrances comes a haunting novel about a grieving woman who discovers the lost journal of novelist Victor Hugo, awakening a mystery that spans centuries.
In 1843, novelist Victor Hugo’s beloved nineteen-year-old daughter drowned. Ten years later, Hugo began participating in hundreds of séances to reestablish contact with her. In the process, he claimed to have communed with the likes of Plato, Galileo, Shakespeare, Dante, Jesus—and even the Devil himself. Hugo’s transcriptions of these conversations have all been published. Or so it was believed.
Recovering from her own losses, mythologist Jac L’Etoile arrives on the Isle of Jersey—where Hugo conducted the séances—hoping to uncover a secret about the island’s Celtic roots. But the man who’s invited her there, a troubled soul named Theo Gaspard, has hopes she’ll help him discover something quite different—Hugo’s lost conversations with someone called the Shadow of the Sepulcher.
What follows is an intricately plotted and atmospheric tale of suspense with a spellbinding ghost story at its heart, by one of America’s most gifted and imaginative novelists.
I’ve not been lucky enough to read any of M. J. Rose’s books up until now. What a treat, indeed! At first I was worried I might be lost not having read the other books in the series, but I wasn’t. I’m even more eager to read them now!!
With a narrative that takes the reader from the present to the mid 1800s and even further back at times, it tells of Jac L’Etoile, who is a mythologist and researcher. Also in the mix is Victor Hugo who I didn’t know much about before but am now fascinated with. I love the mixture of history with the fiction – it’s my favourite aspect of really great Historical Fiction. Not all authors can do it well. M. J. does.
It’s a gorgeously written book. I don’t usually save quotes from books, but I did with this one. One of the best, for me, was “If you could just grasp one thread of who you’ve been – of what you’ve lived – you’d be able to reel that past in and earn from all the different souls you’ve been”. I became completely lost in all of the worlds in this book and was truly sad when I realized there was only one chapter left. This book will definitely be on my Best of 2013 list at the end of the year. Amazing!!
About the Author
M.J. Rose is the international best selling author of eleven novels and two non-fiction books on marketing. Her fiction and non-fiction has appeared in many magazines and reviews including Oprah Magazine. She has been featured in the New York Times, Newsweek, Time, USA Today and on the Today Show, and
Rose lives in CT with her husband the musician and composer, Doug Scofield, and their very spoiled and often photographed dog, Winka.