Wednesday, 2 January 2019

Monsters by Sharon Dogar – review

1814: Mary Godwin, the sixteen-year-old daughter of radical socialist and feminist writers, runs away with a dangerously charming young poet - Percy Bysshe Shelley. From there, the two young lovers travel a Europe in the throes of revolutionary change, through high and low society, tragedy and passion, where they will be drawn into the orbit of the mad and bad Lord Byron.

But Mary and Percy are not alone: they bring Jane, Mary's young step-sister. And she knows the biggest secrets of them all . . .

Told from Mary and Jane's perspectives, Monsters is a novel about radical ideas, rule-breaking love, dangerous Romantics, and the creation of the greatest Gothic novel of them all: Frankenstein.

I knew from the blurb that I'd love this book. It ended up being quite different from what I expected, but in a really good way. I was gripped throughout the book and became very invested in the characters. I didn't know much about Mary Shelley's life and Monsters felt like a fascinating, authentic insight.

The characters were vividly realised and deliciously flawed. I liked the fact that aspects of their personalities and relationships were evident to the reader but not always to them. This book has inspired me to read more about the real people involved in the novel. 

Monsters seems very well researched and believable, and I enjoyed the third person style. It allowed the historical details and character traits to come through.

There is a sense of building tension throughout the book and it was great to look out for small ideas that would become Frankenstein.  

I haven't read many historical novels, especially those based on real people, but this is one of my favourites. It's brilliantly written, tense and the characterisation was excellent. It's made me want to read more historical novels, and more by Sharon Dogar.

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