professornana (professornana) wrote,

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Seattle here I come, I hope

So, if the ice clears early enough tomorrow, I am off to ALA. Packed in the carry on are two galleys and one manuscript of a forthcoming book I am writing a guide for (oh, and it is too luscious a book from page one, the only page I have read so far). Before I go, I wanted to talk about Angelmonster. I began reading the book before the eye surgery and, like so many others, it has been patiently waiting for me to feel up to reading again. Yesterday, in the midst of freezing temps, I curled up under some blankets and finished the story of Mary Shelley and her relationship with her family, with the poet Shelley, and with her own writing. In some ways, it is reminiscent of OPHELIA (see earlier blog on this book). It takes a well known piece of literature and gives readers a different slant on it all.

I had actually re-read FRANKENSTEIN some years ago in preparation for writing a chapter for Joan Kaywell's series ADOLESCENT LITERATURE AS A COMPLEMENT TO THE CLASSICS. I read the book after too many years of creature features that had totally blurred the actual story. The novel is chilling but not in the B Movie way. I adored the re-reading and was able to write a chapter pulling in some YA novels that examine the theme of man's inhumanity to man.

But back to the book. ANGELMONSTER introduces us to the person who will pen FRANKENSTEIN as she is falling in love with Shelley, a love that is forbidden given the fact that Shelley is married already. However, Mary ignores her family and falls for Shelley. Banished from her home, Mary lives with Shelley. She bears him children, losing two in childbirth and two more before they had a chance to live beyond toddler years. Eventually, she loses Shelley as well. The details make Mary and all the other people in her life (including Lord Byron) come alive as the real people they were. Somehow it helps to explain how a young woman could come to write such a book as FRANKENSTEIN. The cover is certainly attention-getting as is the title. I do not know how many teens will read this book, however, without some introduction. I do think it would make for an excellent companion to a reading of FRANKENSTEIN in the high school English classroom,

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