Friday, September 21, 2018

Five top works of gothic fiction

Laura Purcell is the author of The Silent Companions and The Corset. One of her five favorite works of gothic fiction, as shared at the Waterstones blog:
Affinity by Sarah Waters

It feels a bit of a betrayal not to pick Waters’ spellbinding ghost-story, The Little Stranger, which has just been adapted into a film, but Affinity moved me in ways few books have managed. I can’t forget it. I can’t forget screaming ‘No!’ at the pages, blindsided by Waters’ plotting yet again.

The narrative follows recently bereaved spinster Margaret into the grim fortress of Millbank Penitentiary, where she volunteers to visit the prisoners. Margaret finds herself drawn to and increasingly obsessed with Selina Dawes. Selina claims to be a medium, but her last séance ended in disaster, leaving one woman dead and another deranged.

I adored the way this book distorted my perceptions, making me alternatively believe and distrust Selina. The atmosphere sneaks up on you unawares, and you will come away from Affinity with feelings of melancholy and dread that are difficult to shake off.
Read about the other entries on the list.

--Marshal Zeringue