Excerpt from "The House" by Sebastiana Randone
This guaranteed a life time of opulence that was steadily profligate. It is fair to say that she lacked that parsimonious streak which one often finds amongst
the affluent. This predilection for excess guaranteed her considerable
popularity among her large community of acquaintances.
Childless, husbandless, and therefore unencumbered,Immelda spent the
first few years of her widowhood travelling throughout the continent. This
experience equipped her with an erudite wit and a refined sensibility, largely
inculcated by exposure and introductions to many of the finest estates of
Europe. Back in England, and residing in the Florentine/Rococo styled
estate known as ‘Elysee’ which was specially designed, Lady Brackenthorne
had developed a predilection for entertaining. She was renowned for hosting
social events during the full moon. These parties would last over several days
and nights, and were comparable in extravagance to those feted festivals
thrown by the hedonist king, Louis Quatorze.
With a penchant for all things pagan, this self-avowed ‘witch’ often
recreated rituals involving a collection of invitees presiding in the casting
of circles, leaping and dancing round large bonfires in the garden.
These guests had been spied on many a midsummer evening gambolling
unfrocked on the capacious grounds of the Elyseeestate. As was to be
expected, such displays of Dionysian ostentation had created much idle
embellishment in the imaginations of those neighbours turned voyeurs,
who found loitering on the fringes irresistible. And so word rapidly
spread that Lady Brackenthorne was the hostess of orgiastic gatherings.
It was during one of these theatrical occasions that Sammy first met
the charismatic and raven haired hostess, whose sensuality was equally
matched by a gregarious and outgoing personality. Since the death of her
husband, rumours had abounded over her licentious appetite for younger
men. It was therefore no great surprise to learn that Sammy had become
her latest conquest. What was novel however and without precedent,
was the fact that she had the young scamp now residing at her palatial
estate. The consummation of this union took place on the very same
evening that Luna was visiting Alderry Place, when Sammy had been
conspicuously absent. It was also at this time that he finally succeeded in
winning over her ladyship’s affections, and so commenced the impetuous
romantic merger. The chemistry between the disparate couple justified
the young man’s immediate instatement to Elysee. Shadowy and sly as
Sammy was, he appealed to the heathen loving lady, who had eschewed to
date numerous suitors of more decorous and placid dispositions.
I was very excited to read this book after reading the synopsis. I love fairy tales, the addition of time travel, it was a book I could not wait to read.
The first 3 chapters were written about the main character. Never giving you her name? Intriguing.
Eventually you are led through a forest up to a house,dilapidated on the outside yet magnificent on the inside.
I must admit that the choice of vocabulary made it a challenging read. I read constantly and have a love for the use of interesting words,it enables a reader to broaden their vocabulary and learn. In that regard it's a good thing. As for the flow of the reading experience I thought it was overwhelming and caused the story to be hidden behind the almost confusing vocabulary.
Just to see what a friend thought I asked him to read the first few pages. After finishing my initial thoughts were voiced. Though a college graduate he had no idea what many of the words meant. Usually through context the words someone might not completely understand,they can figure out the meaning and enjoy the story. Instead it was a constant interruption,using the kindle dictionary option,then returning to the tale only to have to stop again to check the definition of yet another word that didn't make sense.
This is absolutely an interesting story. Unfortunately by the time you get past what I can only call a language barrier,the twists and turns are almost to much.
After reading through it once I sat back and tried to think of how to write this review. I couldn't say that I didn't enjoy the story,I did. However I'm not sure what type of reader I would recommend this book to. I chose to reread "The House" thinking that since I had enjoyed it though struggled through some of the descriptions that perhaps on a second reading the wording wouldn't be such an issue. Even with a full understanding of the definitions certain words understood,it was still a stilted reading experience.
I apologize that this review gives hardly any incite about actual story. It was good,the characters that were introduced were either very likeable, since the book travelled back in time it was interesting to see how belittled women found strength, children equated to success,religion and beliefs change when you grow up. This book was full of a lot of introspection on the main characters part. I found that to be a positive feature of this book. I'm still pondering the overall meaning of this book. If you're looking for a challenging read give "The House" by Sebastiana Randone a chance. It is definitely thought provoking. Just be sure you have a dictionary and even a thesaurus handy :) Plus this book could make you a formidable scrabble opponent!
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