Gothic Literature

Gothic Literature: It’s Baaack!

Friday before a bad weather weekend is the perfect time to go to the library. Boy, am I glad I did! Nothing says gothic literature like a gray ominous sky and Sunday was going to be miserable. I happened on Ruth Ware’s thriller, The Death of Mrs. Westaway and slipped it into my bulging book bag figuring I would save it until the storm came and hunker down. Fortunately or unfortunately, I cracked the book open on Friday night and there was nothing left of it to read by Sunday.

I’m not always a fan of thrillers, so if you feel the same way, please bear with me on this.

What I like about Ware’s writing is twofold. First, she writes beautifully. Generously. This is not as common as one might think. But second, and maybe more important to me, her book is balanced on a moral struggle.

As a romance writer, moral struggle is my favorite. I love watching people struggle because it is the way human beings grow and learn. That’s the ultimate triumph of romance novels: not the wedding, the growth.

But the other aspect of The Death of Mrs. Westaway I loved was its underlying tribute to gothic literature. I don’t know if that’s what Ruth Ware had in mind, but I sure did.

Who doesn’t love the tale of a mysterious benefactor bestowing a fortune on a beleaguered orphan? Then there’s the decrepit old mansion, the gnarled housekeeper, the bluff and hearty but secretive relatives and an ever present smell of mildew to go with the mysterious bunch of magpies which haunt the place.

Now I’m going to have to re-read Dickens.

Rose Grey has written four romance novels and is hard at work on a fifth. Wednesday is generally book review day. Unless it isn’t. If you liked this post, subscribe to Rose’s newsletter Every subscription comes with a free short story, lots of fun info about upcoming books and occasional delicious recipes. All Of MeWaiting For YouHot Pursuit and Not As Advertised are available as ebooks and as paperbacks online.