Edinburgh E book festival…


immagine-for-web

My gifted fellow writer Mari Biella has been working for the Edinburgh e book festival.

http://maribiella.wordpress.com/2013/07/

Typically, she’s been promoting other people’s work and not her own. She’s come up with some fascinating finds and insights into the world of horror, for instance:

http://maribiella.wordpress.com/2013/08/19/psychological-horror/

This being so, I am going to turn the tables, and say that I think ‘The Quickening’ was one of the best written, evocative and sophisticated psychological ghost stories that I have read in a long time.

Here’s my review of it from ‘Goodreads’.

‘I love a psychologically slanted ghost story, and classic ghost stories generally, and this is a combination of the two.

I was sometimes put in mind of ‘The Turn of the Screw’ and also of ‘The Woman in Black.’ Not because there is anything derivative about this story, but through the power of description and the skilful building up of an atmosphere of a remorseless, impending doom closing in on the characters, struggle against it though they do.

Reminiscent of classical ghost stories though this is,the characters are depicted with a depth and realism that is only possible to a more sophisticated age than the Victorian one.

The story is told from the point of view of Lawrence Fairweather, amateur botanist, a determined atheist and believer in rationality, who together with his wife Julia and their daughter Hazel, is struggling to come to terms with the loss of their younger daughter, Emily.

The shared grief about which the couple find it impossible to communicate has driven them apart. They cannot comfort each other. Lawrence, a naturally passionate man, represses his emotions beneath a surface of icy calm and drinks steadily; the sensitive Julia has been overwhelmed by her grief, taking refuge in morphine and opium. Their daughter Hazel refuses to speak, and concern over this drives a further wedge between the unhappy couple.

And yet, passionate feeling still remains between Lawrence and Julia Fairweather; this story became so real to me that I found myself longing for them to find each other again.

The two adults’ different interpretations of what it is that is causing an atmosphere of increasing fear and despair in their family home in the lonely Fens is gradually tearing the family apart. Meanwhile Lawrence Fairweather’s friend the local Doctor tries to help keep things on an even keel, while his sister Sophie has brought up from London the medium Mrs Marchant, in whom Julia desperately wants to believe, and who embodies everything that Lawrence Fairweather despises.

The writing is sensitive and evocative. There are wonderful word portraits, of states of mind, of the stark Lincolnshire countryside.
I could quote many, but here are three of the best: -

‘I sensed that whatever lurked there in the passageway wished me ill …It’s anger and hostility seemed to seep through the wood of the door and to radiate across the bedroom.’

‘A scarlet sun slunk towards the horizon, and stained the water in the dikes and the drains…The reeds crackled and hissed in the strengthening wind. A crow gave a strange, wild cry at my approach, and soared into the ashen sky.’

‘She carried her secrets with her like a child; I imagined them curled up in the warm cradle of her body, awakening, quickening.’

Mari Biella leaves it to the reader to judge whether or not there is anything supernatural in the sensations and visions that plague the Fairweather family.

An excellent, disturbing and absorbing read.

You can get ‘The Quickening’ on

http://www.amazon.com/The-Quickening-ebook/

http://www.amazon.co.uk/The-Quickening-ebook/

So there, Mari! You deserve a bit of unexpected promotion…

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About Lucinda Elliot

Writer of Gothic comedy, my ebook 'That Scoundrel Emile Dubois' came out in August and is available on Amazon. 'When young Sophie de Courcy, bored but patient companion to the Countess of Ruthin, agrees to marry her long-time hero, dashing French rogue Emile Dubois, she is catapulted into a dangerous world of Man Vampires and Time Warps. With the help of Agnes, her no nonsense, tarot-reading Welsh maid, she must come to terms with her new husband’s scandalous past, defeat the evil Vampire neighbours and rescue Emile from the machinations of time which threaten to destroy their new found love. All this in just one book! Scoundrel is an entertaining, over-the-top Gothic adventure, alive with colourful character comedy as it flits between Revolutionary France and misty Wales.' Based in mid Wales, once living and worked in London for years, I am fond of weight training, was long ago a champion Sportsfighter, I am a fully paid up, card holding English classics geek and love a laugh...
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One Response to Edinburgh E book festival…

  1. Mari Biella says:

    Thank you so much, Lucinda! Promoting other people’s work has been a great pleasure, as there are many, many books out there that deserve recognition. Having said that, to be promoted in turn is of course a great honour, and most flattering. Thank you again!

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