Kate Mosse - Sepulchre/Кейт Мос - Гробницата
Bulgarian Cover (my copy):
From the author of the New York Times-bestselling novel Labyrinth comes another haunting tale of secrets, murder and the occult set in both nineteenth-century and twenty-first-century France
In 1891, young Léonie Vernier and her brother Anatole arrive in the beautiful town of Rennes-les-Bains, in southwest France. They’ve come at the invitation of their widowed aunt, whose mountain estate, Domain de la Cade, is famous in the region. But it soon becomes clear that their aunt Isolde—and the Domain—are not what Léonie had imagined. The villagers claim that Isolde’s late husband died after summoning a demon from the old Visigoth sepulchre high on the mountainside. A book from the Domain’s cavernous library describes the strange tarot pack that mysteriously disappeared following the uncle’s death. But while Léonie delves deeper into the ancient mysteries of the Domain, a different evil stalks her family—one which may explain why Léonie and Anatole were invited to the sinister Domain in the first place.
More than a century later, Meredith Martin, an American graduate student, arrives in France to study the life of Claude Debussy, the nineteenth century French composer. In Rennes-les-Bains, Meredith checks into a grand old hotel—the Domain de la Cade. Something about the hotel feels eerily familiar, and strange dreams and visions begin to haunt Meredith’s waking hours. A chance encounter leads her to a pack of tarot cards painted by Léonie Vernier, which may hold the key to this twenty-first century American’s fate … just as they did to the fate of Léonie Vernier more than a century earlier.
I’m a bit uncertain how to rate this book. I don’t like negative reviews, but… I loved it and I didn’t love it. Let’s just say that the book was fine. Really, that’s all I can say. I would not recommend it to everyone, honestly. I liked it as a nice pastime, but it’s not something that unique. It could be better in some ways. One of them – the length, who is familiar with me as a reader knows that I love good long books – even 800+ pages are never a problem for me, but here, I just say it with my heart – there were parts that could have been cut out. I just rarely enjoy all these manically descriptive devices - what the characters have for breakfast, how it was cooked, how it was served, how the napkins were put, what color were they, did they have lace, what color was the lace; what was the color of the room, what was the heroine’s dress, how many veils it has; and there were like billions of adjectives. I like adjectives, but I don’t like them in huge amount. A thing that I don’t fancy about some women’s style is getting so deep, and I mean deeeep, into details. While I was reading I thought every now and then, that the editor should have worked a bit harder.
About the plot… it was somewhat cliché, but it was fine with me; I like clichés – they’re called that way, because everybody loves them.
I’m sure that the author has done a great research, and an enormous amount of work, that’s why I don’t like being harsh on books. It’s like putting your soul into these sheets. But I found it quite dificult to get into the story, which is kind of ok, cause in the middle I was engaged with it; then, towards the end it started getting somewhat clumsy – was it all about the tarot cards, about Debussy, about Vernie’s story… what was it about? The end was just taken from nowhere and I almost felt like it was made that way in order to have some supernatural fantasy happening. I didn’t enjoy the end very much.
Don’t get me wrong, it’s a good read, but if you are a Mosse’s fan or if you’d like a book to read during your breaks or holiday. Just an entertaining read. It’s ok, but nothing more for me - not one of those good, memorable reads. I decided to read it because of the music element -the connection with Claude Debussy, and the tarot cards. Moreover I like reading mysteries lately, so I expected a bit more. I was kind of disappointed and I felt that it was just a really good selling trick to put Debussy’s name into this. I hardly ever say that a book isn’t good; I think that each has its own charm. I can’t say for Sepulchre that it wasn’t interesting; it’s just not that memorable for me, as I said it. Yet each book can teach you something new.
Here is my pretty agenda
Here is how it looks for December
Here is how it looks for the next week:
All I have planned is the European Figure Skating Championship. Oh, sweet FREEDOM! Thanks for those 2 weeks of nothing and blissful relaxation! Good that I took all my exams, so I can have this nice BIG rest.
Cyanide for a smile
I’ve just finished reading Cyanide for a smile by Rodica Ojog-Brașoveanu. I liked it. It’s a little bit like Agatha Christie’s And Then There Were None.
The story is about six neighbors, who are sharing a house. There’s an exceptional old lady – Melanija Lupu – she’s a widow with very fine taste and sharp-witted mind. She is totally my favorite – very sly and she always knows what to say, how to fix things just to get out of the mess. I really admire these people. Then comes the other lady in the house – Valerica Skurtu - she is an old maid – always searching for a future husband; knitting and playing games of patience are her hobbies; constantly buying useless things just to make her place more attractive for men. Doru Matej is a sculptor. He’s the only young lad in the house. He has 2 passions – art and women. He’s a total loose fish and he’s never interested in the outside world. He’s just indifferent. On the other pole is Grigore Popa former military man – he has reached the limit of the human’s egoism; so filled with hatred that he has made a black notebook, where he writes down if someone bullies him or anything else. Horrible lonely man. Mihai Panaitesku is a math teacher. He lives with his wife and they enjoy living life – every night opera, exquisite restaurants, etc. The last guy is an accountant – Martin Walku. He has a lover and is a formal dentist.
The story thickens when the neighbors found accidentally two paintings – one from Francisco Goya and one from Rembrandt. The original plan is to sell the paintings and split the money in 5 (because one of the neighbors doesn’t know about them), but then the teacher dies, more precisely he was killed – with cyanide. The neighbors understand that someone is trying to kill them all. So they start to outwit the police and each other. The game of nerves gets tighter as they start dying one by one. There will be only one winner!