Cashelmara – Susan Howatch

236709I love Howatch’s early books which emphasize dark, gothic plots before she delves into religion and philosophy.  This one is a multi-generational, Victorian-era saga.  Cashelmara is the family seat in Ireland of a titled English family.  The book details their rise and fall, beginning with Lord Edward de Salis. Basically, a reimagining of the life of Edward II, the historical research is spot on as events unfold such as the Great Famine and the rise of Irish Nationalism.  One reason the book is so compelling is that Howatch uses a different character’s point of view in each section.  We think we know that person until a new narrator takes over changing our opinion.  I loved Edward when reading from his point of view.  Not so much when I saw him from his wife’s perspective.  The characters are multi-faceted, flawed, neither hero or villain. The book is all about melodrama with a capital M. There’s adultery, financial ruin, alcoholism, twisted sexual desire and murder.  Hooray!  I also loved Howatch’s Penmarric and her first book, The Dark Shore.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s