The New Gothics: less romance, more horror

the-keep-by-jennifer-egan.jpgPopular in the 1970s, gothic romance was defined by Daphne du Maurier’s Rebecca: dark and stormy night, castle or manor house with frightened fleeing maiden in a nightgown on the book cover. Other popular authors in this genre included Anya Seton, Phyllis Whitney, Dorothy Eden and Victoria Holt. For the past two decades, fewer gothics have been written —until now. The new gothics are similar to the old ones — with less romance and more horror.

The River Wife by Jonis Agee
In 1930, when she arrives in the remote Missouri boot heel, the newest DuCharme wife, young Hedi, discovers a legacy of piracy, illicit love, murder and deceit and faces her own trials when it seems her new husband is carrying on the family tradition.

Lord Byron’s Novel: The Evening Land by John Crowley
A gothic horror story by Lord Byron comes to light when a computer genius and her literary partner break the code of a manuscript written in numbers by Byron’s daughter. Byron’s novel, the story of his daughter’s efforts to save it and the modern scholars’ involvement create well-sustained atmosphere of suspense.

The Keep by Jennifer Egan
Estranged for twenty years, two cousins reunite to renovate an Eastern European castle in a classic gothic setting — remote, secret passages, crumbling walls, an ancient occupant. This is one story you cannot predict or forget.

Caught in the Light by Robert Goddard
For photographer Ian Jarrett a love affair in Vienna ends a bad marriage and begins a nightmare when his lover, Marian, disappears and all signs point to a supernatural explanation he cannot credit.

The Ghost Orchid by Carol Goodman
The 19th century Bosco estate in the Adirondack foothills, where artists and writers now work in gloomy isolation, was once the setting of the Latham family scandal. Writer Ellis Brooks’ attempt to find the Latham skeletons is strangely rewarded.

The Moth Diaries by Rachel Klein
An unnamed narrator keeps a diary during her 16th year, in which she records the activities of a suspected vampire who steals her best friend and then terrorizes the school.season-of-the-witch-book-cover.jpg

Season of the Witch by Natasha Mostert
Gabriel Blackstone, psychic information broker, is hired to locate a missing young man, and finds him murdered. Unfortunately Blackstone falls for one of the suspects — a witch.

Angelica by Arthur Phillips
Literary and elegant, this turn-of-the-century brooding story of a family in crisis, pivots on Angelica, whose distraught mother, Constance, senses the presence of evil in their home and even in her husband.

Crazy School by Cornelia Read
At a boarding school for troubled teens, sympathetic teacher Madeline Dare tackles the sinister machinations of the school’s head by teaming up with rebellious students to discover what happened in a double “suicide.”

The Thirteenth Tale by Diane Setterfield
When her health fails, reclusive author Vida Winter invites biographer Margaret Lea to write the story of her life — her thirteenth tale. Lea decides to verify her story with a visit to the crumbling manor house where Vida’s story began.

The Terror by Dan Simmons
Fictionalized Captian Crozier, of the ship Terror, narrates a harrowing voyage and supernatural experiences in the Arctic, where two ships and over 200 men seemingly disappeared over the earth’s edge in the 1840s.

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