Faithful followers, prepare yourselves: I have found another book I love! No, of course it isn’t contemporary. It is a classic called Dragonwyck by Anya Seton; I had no idea it even existed until I dug it out of a stack of old books at my Paw Paw’s house and decided to adopt it since that title is unstoppable. Much to my dismay, it has nothing to do with dragons; I cannot claim to be disappointed, though, because what that book lacked in dragon action it made up for with compelling characters and one good, old-fashioned psychopath.
The book was written in the 1940’s and takes place in the 1840’s, so I expected it to be a typical “bildungsroman,” or coming-of-age story; I figured it would be rather slow and more focused on details and morals than dramatic emphasis. While it is still certainly a coming-of-age story for the main character, Miranda or “Ranny,” this book was for more dramatic and shocking than I anticipated for a novel of the 40’s. Miranda is the eldest daughter of a humble farm family in Connecticut and receives an invitation from a distant cousin to come live on his wealthy estate in upstate New York in order to learn the ways of societal refinement and education. There weren’t torrid love affairs such that would make 50 Shades of Grey proud, but the story that follows was constantly filled with subject matters that are still considered “saucy” today, and even much more so back when the story was written.
Giving away one bit of the story would ruin for you the “say what, now?!?!” factor that I so frequently experienced while reading it. And I almost think that was the best part; I was continuously surprised by the bravery and candid-ness of this book. It seems to me that it would be interesting to almost all female audiences, too. It isn’t so racy that I hesitate to suggest it to my mother, but it isn’t so timid that I got bored. Heck, I finished it in a week!
AND (best part here, people), there was a movie adaptation made in 1946 AND the male protagonist is played by Vincent Price!!!!! I can’t… I can’t even… right now I’m just… It’s too good! There’s no way that won’t be amazing. I am on a mission to find that movie. I must know how it addresses those topics and characters. I must. And so should you. Clearly, I highly suggest this read to anyone in need of some good ol’ 1940’s drama.