The Poison That Fascinates
10 journalers for this copy...
Original thread: http://www.bookcrossing.com/forum/6/5875353/31
More information about the book: http://www.meetatthegate.com/component/option,com_author_book/edition_id,1011/title_id,793/
Abandoned by her mother as a baby, Emily now lives with her father in Mexico City. She works in the local Catholic orphanage. Life is simple. But when an enigmatic cousin, Santi, appears ont he doorstep, he brings family secrets, and Emily quickly finds that desire and temptation have overturned her straightforward life forever.
Thank you Cannongate books for providing this so I can participate in the readalong.
The flow of words and use of language is delightful, and the use of facts on murders at the end of each chapter is a great use of the "greek chorus". The imagery of butterflies, and books, and orphans throughout the book is great.
I think however that the cousin who visits is so vile and nasty that Emily's reaction to him is incomprehensible at times (well, all the time really - but some times you can see why she may react that way and other times you want to hit her on the head and say "run away"!)
I recommend you read it for yourself and then go over to the forum and search out the thread "The Poison That Fascinates" read-along, hosted by Canongatebooks. There you will find a chapter by chapter discussion of the book.
CONTROLLED RELEASE NOTES:
I am sending this as a RABCK to a fellow bookcrosser, as a thank you for picking out a very enjoyable book for me to read at Christmas time. I hope she likes it.
BOOKRAY will be INTL.
Please try not to keep it longer than a month, but if you must that's fine, just let me know. Thank you*
arturogrande ~ UK
catflap ~ UK
penelopewanders ~ Switzerland
cassiopaeia ~ UK
mafarrimond ~ UK
hyphen8 ~ US
I found this book totally gripping, although I too couldn't really see why Emily was so attracted to Santi, who was quite a horrible character. I didn't see 'it' coming (not wanting to give too much away), and when the truth was revealed, it cast a new and appalling light on everything that had gone before.
The language was lovely, and the use of murder details at the end of each chapter worked very well.
I'm really glad I read this book - sorry again for the delay in getting it moving along. I'm just waiting for an address for catflap and then it will be off on its travels once more.
CONTROLLED RELEASE NOTES:
This is now on its way to the UK. Thanks for making it available!
'This was an unusual but very enjoyable read which I found difficult to put down. The story and format has a surreal and exotic tinge to it, Emily, her father, Mother Agata and Santiago flit in and out creating an intriguing atmosphere.
Clement succeeds in evoking an unusual sense of place; the heat, the rain, the library filled with books and old furniture, the dogwood and sweetbriar in the garden, the orphanage with its scent of coffee, the closet full with metal leg braces, the elusive smell of melons, the children and of course the never ending saints. I found my senses immersed in this wonderful setting while slowly the truth was unfolding and at some uncertain point I realised...
Emily is skilfully and subtly drawn, always slightly understated. She and Santi are endowed with slightly ethereal (and in his case unsettling) qualities, and she in particular is being put in context, much is left unsaid but the clues abound. This is a well constructed and beautifully executed story, the ending fits like a second skin.'
This second reading was from a different perspective and of course I noticed more malevelence in the small details. But what did you make of the ending?
So who do you think the two knives were for? The cook's knife and the oyster knife, possibly lying side by side in the drawer. As she withdraws them 'Emily remembers Saint Placid. He is invoked agains chills.' Opinions differ on this and the author herself hasn't revealed what she thinks happened. Maybe there are a number of answers. The obvious one of course is Santi, he has deceived her and lied to her, that is his undoing, but the second knife, is it for herself or her father or even possibly Mother Agata, both of whom have lied to her, but for her protection rather than her distruction as in Santi's case? My conclusion is the same as the first time; it was for Emily herself. She would kill him first, them lying beside him wearing his clothes she would end her own life and their blood would mingle as brother and sister, as lovers and as deceiver and deceived, to obliterate the wrong that had been done.
Maybe there are some clues on pages 4, 34, 108 and 204. Any other ideas would be interesting.
Will now go and read the Cannongate Book thread that KiE recommends.
Thank you KiE for including me in this bookring. I'm waiting to hear from mafarrimond before posting.
In the post today to mafarrimond in North Wales.
I thought Santi was a jerk, and I suspected what Emily would find out, but I liked the stuff about the saints and the orphans.
Rosella05 said I can find a new home for this book, so I will.
This book was set free to find a new reader; I'm so glad you've found it!
If you're new to Bookcrossing, I hope you will take some time to explore this wonderful free and anonymous community and learn about what it has to offer.
Free your books - help spread the words!
WILD RELEASE NOTES:
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