Thursday, December 25, 2008

10: The Spiritualist

Megan Chance has written a dark, mysterious historical novel that works its way through the high and lowbrow worlds of 1850s New York.  Evelyn Asherton is caught up in the murder of her husband and uses the worlds of spiritualism, seance (and seduction) to attempt to free herself from the gallows.

Her husband's partner comes to her rescue, as does one of the grand dames of New York society. Now living in the home of her new patron, Evelyn quickly comes under the sway of Michel Jourdain, who is either a brilliant clairvoyant or a charlatan.

What follows is a tale where - as the book jacket suggests - "sometimes truth is the greatest illusion of all."

Chance writes a clear and quickly-paced narrative, with winning characters.  I only wish the storyline didn't follow the (somewhat) predicted path that played itself out in my mind about 3/4 of the way through the novel.  I also felt kind of stretched by the actions of some of the characters but, even with that said, I enjoyed the read all the same.



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