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Month in review

Reviews:
Alphabet Mystery by Audrey Wood
The Best Friend I Ever Had by David Nuffer
Beyond the Blue Event Horizon by Frederik Pohl
Black Rainbow by Barbara Michaels
The Bomb That Followed Me Home by Cevin Soling
Catalog by Eugene Mirabelli
The Chemist by Janson Mancheski
Culture Shock! California by Mark Cramer
The Dead Fathers Club by Matt Haig
Duck on a Bike by David Shannon
Duck for President by Doreen Cronin
Heechee Rendezvous by Frederik Pohl
How Do Dinosaurs Go to School? by Jane Yolen and Mark Teague
The Importance of Being Earnest by Oscar Wilde
Jane Austen Ruined My Life by Beth Pattillo
Keeping Hannah Waiting by Dave Clarke
Little Heathens by Mildred Armstrong Kalish
Love in 90 Days by Diana Kirschner
The Night We Buried Road Dog by Jack Cady
Of Dreams and Reality by Frank L. Johnson
Our Man in Havana by Graham Greene
Purplicious by Elizabeth and Victoria Kann
School Days by B. G. Hennessy
The Secret of Lost Things by Sheridan Hay
Sister Margaret by Rhonda Parrish
A Surprise for Rosie by Julia Rawlinson
Texas Bake Sale by Charles Coleman Finlay
There's a Wolf at the Door by Zoë B. Alley
Tiger Burning Bright by Theodora DuBois
Venice by Adrian Stokes and John Piper
Winding Broomcorn by Mario Milosevic
The Whole Shebang by Timothy Ferris

Ulysses:
Episode 2: Nestor: Kif
Episode 3: Proteus: Georgia Nicholson
Episode 4: Calypso: Parasites Lost
Episode 5: The Lotus Eaters: Down to the River to Pray

Miscellaneous:
Historical Fiction

Previous month

Rating System

5 stars: Completely enjoyable or compelling
4 stars: Good but flawed
3 stars: Average
2 stars: OK
1 star: Did not finish

Reading Challenges

My Kind of Mystery Reading Challenge 2017 February - January 2017-8



Comments for Black Rainbow

School DaysBlack Rainbow: 03/03/09

A black rainbow is a moon rainbow. It is the also the opening scene for Black Rainbow by Barbara Michaels. In this gothic romance Megan O'Neill, governess falls in love with the handsome but dangerous Edmund Mandeville while sister Jane looks on helpless.

Black Rainbow is the prequel to Someone in the House (1981). As it's basically the back story for a much better sounding (and more typical) Barbara Michaels horror novel, the story reads like a forced march. I haven't read Someone in the House (but want to).

The novel has moments of dark and atmospheric tension reminiscent of better novels. Edmund's past hints at Daphne du Maurier's Rebecca and Megan's role as an outsider and governess, at Jane Eyre.

Unfortunately these scenes are weakened by bland characterization and gender stereotyping. Megan's attraction to Edmund or his interest in her are never fully explained to any satisfaction. If the novel were more clearly a retelling of Jane Eyre or more clearly a bodice ripper, I would let their flimsy relationship slide.

Typically the heroines in Michaels's books are strong, smart and stubborn. Megan is certainly stubborn but she is neither strong nor smart. If Jane is the heroine (and she narrates the second half of the novel), then more time should be spent on her background and her rivalry with her brother. Yes, they have their fights and yes, Edmund does try to get her out of the picture but all this comes so late in the novel that it felt like it was added at the last minute.

Other pages of interest:

My other reviews of her books:

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