Tuesday, December 6, 2011

A perfect winter ghost story

What's up world? I've not been hiding under a rock. I'll have an explanation for my frequent absences and brain farts next week, I promise.

In the meantime, I dove into Kate Mosse's The Winter Ghosts this weekend. I needed an escape and love ghost stories. This one's a bit shorter than Mosse's other titles, Labyrinth and Sepulchre, but is still set in France and concerns a little piece of lesser known (lesser known to me anyway) history.

In the book, Freddie is taking a jaunt through the Pyrenees. It's a much needed trip for a man who's had a hard time dealing with the loss of his brother. In truth, it's been years since his brother went missing in the war, and Freddie muddled through as best as he could. Eventually, though, his mind could take it no more. Now both his parents are dead and Freddie is taking small steps to regain his life. When his car goes off the road on a winding mountain pass, he seeks shelter in a nearby village. That night he meets an intriguing woman with a sad story. When he wakes, Freddie is in the throes of a raging fever. All those around him assume that his ramblings are that of a sick man, but Freddie knows differently.

The book is based on the fourteenth century massacre of the Cathars, something I know next to nothing about. It's a fascinating piece of history, though, and one that Mosse has touched on enough to pique my interest.

I think one of my favorite things about Mosse's work is the way she incorporates history into her stories. I enjoyed Labyrinth and Sepulchre very much and was glad that The Winter Ghosts kept up that tradition. I also love this book is, for the most part, a Victorian style ghost story.


Ellie Warren said...

I liked the history aspect but it was a reworked version on a novella (I forget the name) and I think that showed in places where it didn't seem to flow naturally. I found Sepulchre far too long so it was a much better length for me and I do like how she describes the places in her books.

Becky LeJeune said...

Oh, I hadn't realized it was a novella first. I can see that now that you point it out, though.

I spent a long time on Sepulchre, but ultimately really enjoyed it. Her UK website has a third title listed as a 2012 release, Citadel.