I will admit, the book blurb for this novel was the hook that drew me in as I am a huge Victor Hugo fan and read his works in my free time (what little there is of that). I was not in the least bit disappointed. For author M.J. Rose to take a tale from Victor Hugo’s life and weave it into this beautifully haunting tale takes a rare talent. From my understanding there is a previous book before this that I did not read, but this novel can easily stand on its own merits. The two stories within blend flawlessly together, creating an unforgettable saga that spans multiple generations and is full of love and heartbreak, desire and perhaps, madness. It blends history and legend with fiction and fantasy to create a striking narrative that will enchant readers for years to come.
Mythologist Jac L’Etoile has survived quite a bit, and now as a way to cope with another great loss she throws herself headlong into her work. Arriving in the States from France, she is met by her former mentor, Malachai, who introduces her to not only some long secret ancient rock formations that may be Celtic in origin on his family’s farm, but also a letter from an old friend, Theo Gaspard, asking Jac to join him in a search to uncover the roots of his mysterious island home on the Isle of Jersey. Jac agrees, and the adventure begins. Theo’s motives are suspect, and he is hoping Jac will locate transcripts of Victor Hugo’s conversations with someone, or something, called The Shadow of the Sepulchur. Little does Jac know that this search will put not only hers but everyone’s lives and sanity at stake, and the ghosts of the past will come back to haunt those in the present.
A gothic tale about Victor Hugo’s long-buried secrets and the power of a love that never dies . . . In 1843, novelist Victor Hugo’s beloved nineteen-year-old daughter drowned. Ten years later, still grieving, Hugo initiated hundreds of séances from his home on the Isle of Jersey in order to reestablish contact with her. In the process, he claimed to have communed with Plato, Galileo, Shakespeare, Dante, Jesus—and even the devil himself. Hugo’s transcriptions of these conversations have all been published.
Or so it has been believed . . .
Recovering from a great loss, mythologist Jac L’Etoile thinks that throwing herself into work will distract her from her grief. In the hopes of uncovering a secret about the island’s mysterious Celtic roots, she arrives on Jersey and is greeted by ghostly Neolithic monuments, medieval castles and hidden caves. But the man who has invited her there, a troubled soul named Theo Gaspard, hopes she’ll help him discover something quite different— transcripts of Hugo’s lost conversations with someone he called the Shadow of the Sepulcher. Central to his heritage, these are the papers his grandfather died trying to find. Neither Jac nor Theo anticipate that the mystery surrounding Victor Hugo will threaten their sanity and put their very lives at stake.
Seduction is a historically evocative and atmospheric tale of suspense with a spellbinding ghost story at its heart, written by one of America’s most gifted and imaginative novelists. Awakening a mystery that spans centuries, this multilayered gothic tale brings a time, a place and a cast of desperate characters brilliantly to life.