I received this book for free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book nor the content of my review.Seduction by M.J. Rose
Published by Atria on May, 2013
Genres: Fiction, Historical, Mystery, Supernatural
Source: complimentary review copy
Seduction takes us into the heart of Victor Hugo during his self-imposed exile on the Isle of Jersey. Hugo conducts numerous seances in order to connect with his deceased 19-year-old daughter. Fast forward to modern-day Isle of Jersey and we find Jacinda L’Etoile, mythologist, arriving to dispel rumors of Celtic hauntings. We first met L’Etoile in The Book of Lost Fragrances where Jacinda discovers that reincarnation and scents have a strange, eerie effect upon her. “We all share a consciousness. We breathe in each other’s air. Sometimes two souls can see each other’s shadows even when the sun isn’t out.”
In Seduction, Rose creates three alternate story lines ~ Hugo and his search for his daughter in the other world; L’Etoile and her assistance to an old friend by researching letters from Victor Hugo found in his family library; and an ancient Celtic family and the traumatic choices made in a time long, long ago are all connected in the who, what and why of the Shadow of the Sepulcher.
The cover – WOW! Seductive, Gorgeous, Melancholic.
The beginning of the novel had me entranced. While on her way to the Isle of Jersey L’Etoile meets a stranger on the ferry who analyzes and sums up her character in a few sentences and begins the mysterious happenings I’ve come to expect with Rose:
The not so obvious part is that you have all the hallmarks of a seeker. I’ve known a few in my time. I’ve even been flattered to have been called one. You chase special knowledge. You find threads of connections and then share them with people who need them. I can read it in the way you’ve been looking out past the boat’s railing, how you looked at me, the questions you ask, but more importantly, the ones you don’t.
Carl Jung’s philosophy plays an important role in Seduction by adding an element of reality to what could have easily been fantasy: “Jung didn’t believe in accidents. He proposed that resonance happens because we are functioning on more than our conscious level. I’d like you to think about the idea that there is a force we don’t see but it ties matter, energy and consciousness together.” M.J. Rose has the unique ability to take a subject like reincarnation and have the reader ponder the implications long after the novel is over.
I am a huge fan of M.J. Rose, having read every one of her novels. She’s a wonderfully gifted storyteller, grabbing the reader from the first line and not letting go until the final page is read. With that said, I have to admit that I had difficulty connecting with Jac L’Etoile in Seduction. It was almost like she was a “nervous ninny” and not the strong female character I recall from The Book of Lost Fragrances. Admittedly, there were some pretty strange happenings that would freak out any normal person, but, L’Etoile seems to have lost her sense of self and strength of character.
Not to give any spoilers but the conclusion felt rushed and not typical of Rose’s complicated, involved endings. Have you read Seduction? I’d love to hear your thoughts on the novel. Seduction is No. 5 in the Reincarnation series but can be read as a stand alone novel….there are some references to the happenings in The Book of Lost Fragrances; however, Seduction can still be easily understood. And just because this one did not resonate with me does not mean I’ve lost my love of M.J. Rose. She’s still and will always be in my top 5! So this one I recommend with slight reservation.Please share your thoughts! Reincarnation – yes/no? Fan of Carl Jung? Fan of Rose? Read either The Book of Lost Fragrances or Seduction? Thoughts? Disclosure: Many thanks to the publisher and Amy at Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours for the complimentary review copy.