Sunday 14 September 2014

Book Review: The Monster's Wife

To be perfectly honest I love myself an adaptation of a classic. Purely to scoff at and call bullshit to the lot of it, then read the original declaring that nothing, nothing! is better then a classic and there is no need to go fecking about with perfection. However I was actually pleasantly surprised by what I found in this book and I can't fault it for the fact that its taken the story of Frankenstein as its base to work from. In fact I really liked the character of the doctor in this one. And I never say that about the classics. Honestly, ask me about Pride and Prejudice and Vampires or the likes. Its a pleasurable pass time of mine to rip it to bits over a nice empty cuppa - I'm all about the crazy hand gestures and outbursts of rage when I get going. No hot drinks recommend!

Thats not to say however, that I don't have a few bones to pick with this book. (When doesn't she I hear you saying!) I would say I was roughly 75% through this before it became to hold my interest at all. I picked this story up twice before, starting it and not being able to get into it at all. On the third attempt I was determined to see if it got better, so I stuck with it. Apart from the poor (read: absolutely horrific) use of old language been thrown into the odd sentence to give it that 'feel' and the fact that you could have easily slashed half the story but still come out with a lovely piece of writing, it wasn't that bad. Needlessly long and drawn out, but alright.

Oona is the main character that we follow on her tiny Scottish island that isn't home to more then 30 people. Its set in the way back when times but theres no proper introduction to dates or years so I can only guess from the no electricity and petticoats that it wasn't any time recently. Oona lives with her granny, hens and dog - I was quite taken by the little details about her cock (rooster, you dirty, dirty minded people!) who was her favourite and even slept on her pillow. Oona is a sick girl who 'takes fits' and everyone knows that shes not going to live long, like her mother before her. May her best friend who is like a sister to her, they work together and spend all their spare time joined at the hip.

When Dr Frankenstein comes to the island May starts working at the doctors big house, cooking cleaning and doing all sorts for him. Oona soon follows and works along side her, but on the day of Mays wedding, Oona sits in the church with everyone waiting. May never comes and isn't seen or hear of again. Despite the intense search by all the islanders, no one can find her and people start to suspect Oona knows far more then she will admit. It rattles on for a long time until Oona finally discovers what happened to her best friend and what she has become.

Slight spoiler/trigger warning: I have to spoil one scene when saying that there should be a trigger warning with this book. I have searched many reviews and thoughts on this book and have yet to come across someone warning that there is a disturbing and violent rape at the later half of the book. I personally hate reading books with no warnings or triggers. I know it can spoil a story but I find the books that do state it, I'm happier to go ahead and read. Occasionally if I feel a book could be violent I'll do a quick search, but I'm a little annoyed theres nothing that I've found so far online about it. (I just went off on a rant there, sorry!)

I'll hold my hands up here and say this was a hard one for me to follow. I didn't read the blurb before I started reading and I'm glad I didn't - it just gave far too much away! But then I wonder if I had read it would I have been less confused. Here is a perfect example of why I included 'blonde' in my blog title. Right now, I'm having one of those blonde moments. Leaving the headache inducing confusion aside, would I recommend this book? No. No I wouldn't. If your a lover of Frankenstein then perhaps, as it does portray a wonderful character of the doctor, but for the rest of us? I'd leave it up to individual taste.

What have you been reading lately? Could you recommend me something?


  1. It's the new "thing", isn't it? Re-writing classics. Especially with a Dystopian twist. Marissa Meyers take on it is pretty good - Cinder, Scarlett and Cress are pretty okay. I read one called Anastasia from Netgalley the other week - it was essentially Cinderella with lesbians. It was alright, but a bit muddled! Tried to read a modern-day Oliver Twist and got to 15%, couldn't do it. I have a Pinnochio one on my Kindle at the minute - called Puppet, I think it's a girl version. I'm reading The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt at the minute - I've been racing through books lately and I wanted to sit down and read something a bit longer. I'm only 1/5 of the way through but I like it so far!

    1. It is indeed, a really annoying trend. I hope it stops some time soon. I've not read the goldfinch before, must give it a look! :) x