Thursday, November 4, 2010

OUT OF THE SHADOWS by Joanne Rendell

Publisher: NAL
Date published: September, 2010
ISBN: 978-0451231123
Reviewed by Valerie
Obtained by publisher

Clara Fitzgerald’s mother was always convinced that they were descended from Mary Shelley, the author of Frankenstein. When her mother dies, Clara takes up the torch and tries to research her mother’s claims. Her fiancĂ©, Anthony is an up and coming scientist who is about to make a medical break-through. He spends more time in his laboratory than with her. His promise is that when he can settle on some serious testing, then they can get married, but she is still waiting, after four years. She is not happy anymore. Still, he suggests that they test DNA. Hers and Mary Shelley’s. Apparently the museum has some of Mary’s hair. But even this is used to give more publicity to Anthony and his work. Still, Clara finds Kay, a retired Shelley scholar and together, with the help of Clara’s sister they look for Shelley’s long lost diaries and letters. The three women become closer and the past and present connects. Clara learns what the most important things in life are.

This is quite an interesting story. I was captivated from the first chapter. Joanne Rendell really knows how to get deep into her character’s psyche and shows her readers characters with depth. I did find myself more fascinated by the intermittent chapters about Mary Shelley, her childhood, her travels and her meeting with Percy Shelley. Ms Rendell also touches some controversial subjects. Mostly concerning the pharmaceutical industry and there rather underhanded methods to get certain drugs onto the market. I enjoyed Clara’s journey through this particular time of her life. This is a book about a woman who has to learn that people don’t always come up to expectations. That you either have to accept them as they are, or you have to make a break from them. It’s about a woman, who learns what the important things in life are. I think, dear reader, you will also enjoy this story.

This is an objective review and not an endorsement of this book.

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