But first you must travel to Victorian Yorkshire, and there, on a remote country estate, meet a brother and sister alone in the world and bound by tragedy. In time, you will enter the rooms of London’s mysterious Aegolius Club – a society of some of the richest, most powerful men in fin-de-siecle England. And at some point – we cannot say when – these worlds will collide.
It is then, and only then, that a new world emerges, one of romance, adventure and the most delicious of horrors – and the secrets of The Quick are revealed.
This book was given to me as a book group suggestion because I like to read historical novels and we hadn’t tried one for a while. I like to read books blind whenever I can (not read the blurb or know anything about it) but that is incredibly difficult when trying to choose a book group book – for obvious reasons! However, I managed to choose this book with limited knowledge so I was really looking forward to reading it, especially when I started to hear great things and also see it cropping up in various Waterstones stores. (Plus, it has a fabulous cover!)
As I began to read I had all sorts of visions and routes that the two young children could take. So, you can imagine my disappointment when a different route appeared before my eyes. I persevered, and started to emerge myself in the gothic atmosphere and description of London, but I soon became bored waiting for this wonderful storyline to appear. Then, when it did, I couldn’t help but feel that I was being fed a different version of a very well-trodden subject.
Now, I ploughed my way through it as I always finish a book group read, but treacle and wading came to mind. I’m afraid to say that I really didn’t enjoy this book. I wanted to, but my candlewick stayed unlighted I’m afraid. So, I was a little nervous trotting down to our book group meeting. Will we have jot all to talk about because everyone hated it? Apparently not. In fact, I was the only one who didn’t really like it!
OK, so some did find it a bit tedious in the middle, and found the ending a little bit odd, but on a whole it was well received. Most of the group enjoyed the novel and the macabre and gothic feel was done quite well, but for me the plot felt a little bit thin. Strangely enough, the aspect that I didn’t like was what most of the group enjoyed. Indeed, it was a different spin on the traditional views of this ‘aspect’ but it still didn’t feel believable enough for me.
If you enjoy reading the gothic horrors then please do give this a try, but don’t expect anything new. Would I try another of Lauren Owen’s books? Yes, I would, because I did enjoy her style but I’d expect a little more creativity next time.