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Mortal Love: 03/05/12

cover art

Mortal Love by Elizabeth Hand was the third of her novels I've read. It's a three in one story of three different men having obsessive relationships with a muse. The premise is like The Muse (1999) with an execution more like The Angel of Forgetfulness by Steve Stern.

One of the threads is set in a dilapidated house in Maine with an attic full of paintings. The other two take place in a flat in London in the present day. While the three different victims don't see the connections in their lives, to the reader the danger is apparent and frightening.

It's a complex novel, one that unfortunately didn't work for me. Between the different woven threads and the luscious prose, I found the book hard to follow. There weren't any characters for me to grab onto. I suppose I could have wised for the muse to just do the men in as quickly as possible but from the size of the book I could tell that wouldn't happen.

Mortal Love, then, was the point where I realized I like Hand's books but I won't automatically love every single one. Many of the reviews I'm linking to are very positive. Please read them before deciding yea or nay on the book.

Two stars.

Comments (2)

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Comment #1: Monday, March 05, 2012 at 22:21:18

Stephanie Campisi

I'm sorry this one didn't work for you — it's a great concept — but I definitely know what you mean about the importance of being able to relate to a character when it comes to enjoyment of a book. :)

Comment #2: Wednesday, March 07, 2012 at 19:20:22


I've had good luck with the other Elizabeth Hand books and stories I've read. Mortal Love has certainly received plenty of positive reviews as well. If you're intrigued by the description, you should give the book a try.

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