This Week's Review of...
Shadow of Night
There’s nothing quite like it when an extraordinary story takes you by surprise. And this second book in the All Souls trilogy does just that.
In a world where witches, daemons and vampires struggle to maintain a fragile balance, Diana and Matthew must travel further than they ever realized in an effort to unravel the secrets of a manuscript they hope contains the answers to their prayers.
But what happens when what they’ve striven for must be relinquished?
Yes, Diana discovers who and what she is and must adjust to the weighty responsibilities that revelation brings, for she is a bridge between worlds; between light and dark; between life and death itself, and the future rests on her finding something that has eluded her thus far . . . balance.
A most enjoyable sequel to an already excellent story.
Based on the award-winning novel by Margaret Atwood, Alias Grace tells the story of Grace Marks (Sarah Gadon), a young, poor Irish immigrant and domestic servant in Upper Canada who - along with stable hand James McDermott (Kerr Logan) - is accused and convicted of the infamous 1843 double murder of her employer Thomas Kinnear (Paul Gross), and his housekeeper/lover, Nancy Montgomery (Anna Paquin).
Following the trial, McDermott was hanged and Marks was sentenced to life imprisonment. End of story . . . or so you think.
Because of her exemplary behavior, Grace is allowed out every day to serve in the house of the prison governor. Her case comes to the attention of a committee of gentlemen and ladies from the Methodist church, who – led by the minister – hopes to have her pardoned and released. The thing is, Grace is adamant she cannot remember what happened on the day of the murders, and exhibits symptoms of hysteria. On the basis of this, the minister hires Dr. Simon Jordan, a psychiatrist, to interview her, hoping he will find her to be a hysteric, and not a criminal.
Much of what you see takes place in flashback, and portrays the harshness of the times, for you see life through the eyes of an abused young girl who quickly grows to become a woman beset by demons. Those caused by the era in which she lives, in which females are nothing but chattel; those created by an upper class who despise and look down on those who serve them. And of course, the very real horror of how simple it is to be caught up in events that can impact your life forever.
Alias Grace is both compelling and at times disquieting. It’s colorfully portrayed, yet captures a solemnity that reminds you the lower class lived at the whim of their “betters.” But most of all, you witness the personal demons of a young woman who is elusive with the truth, while portraying an innocence that is disarming.
I shan’t say more, other than it is one of the best period dramas I’ve seen . . . (And my wife loved it too!) Therefore – Highly recommended.