Having recently written reviews for both Andrew Lloyd Webber’s film version of The Phantom of the Opera as well as a sequel novel, I decided it was high time I actually read Gaston Leroux’s original novel. As I’ve written in an earlier post, I don’t usually enjoy classic literature. I generally find it long-winded and with dour hidden message about the evils of life. But when writing about film adaptations and book sequels, reading the source material is a must.
For those unfamiliar with the story it is somewhat of a Beauty and the Beast type tale. The orphaned Christine Daae works as a dancer at the Paris Opera House, but has secretly been taking lessons from a figure she knows as the Angel of Music. At the same time the opera’s new managers are under the impression that the stories of the Opera’s ghost are just an elaborate practical joke perpetrated by the former owners. Rumors and tragic events which have occurred are all linked to this mysterious ghost.
Meanwhile, a young Raoul, Vicomte de Chagny returns to Paris and notices his old playmate Christine. Initially Christine ignores him and then sends him mixed signals which drives the immature but lovelorn Raoul to distraction. He is never quite assured of Christine’s affection, but eventually they play at an engagement. Christine finally confesses her love, knowing it is for naught since she is bound to her music tutor.
Everything comes to a head when Christine disappears from the stage in the middle of a performance. Continue reading “Book Review -Phantom of the Opera”
For Love of the Phantom is a sequel to Gaston Leroux’s The Phantom of the Opera. For those unfamiliar with the story, the original novel is set in a Paris Opera house in the early years of the 1900’s. It features an innocent young orphan woman named Christine. She is secretly tutored in music by a man she only knows as the Angel of Music. Eventually, it is revealed that this same Angel is also the man feared by others as the Phantom of the Opera. Christine becomes embroiled in a love triangle with the Phantom and her childhood friend Raoul, the Comte de Chagny. Although, the Phantom initially wishes to keep Christine with him, using Raoul’s life as a bargaining chip, Christine’s compassion convinces him to let them both go.
For Love of the Phantom picks up right where the original Phantom leaves off. Raoul and Christine escape the Opera House, marry and eventually settle in London. Erik, the Phantom manages to fake his own death to throw his old nemesis, the Persian, off his trail. Erik then follows Christine to London, determining to remain unseen but near the woman he loves.
But all is not well. Christine discovers that Raoul’s love for her is more as a beautiful possession and not simply for herself. He also forbids her to sing, fearing that it will remind her of her divided loyalties to the Phantom, whom he despises. Christine’s fairy tale idea of love is slowly dismantled as Raoul disregards her wishes until she finally discovers his infidelity. Christine remains secluded in her home, her only friend, an elderly gardener known as Peck.
Additionally, there is also a killer at large, whom the Persian believes could be Erik. But Erik is determined to protect Christine from the man brutally murdering London’s women, while still maintaining his disguise as Peck. As the story of Christine, Erik and Raoul continues, what will the outcome be?
To read my review of this book, please follow me over to The Silver Petticoat Review.
In Bread of Angels Lydia’s life has been ruled by fear, ever since a traumatic childhood event. Her father does his best to provide a sense of security while also teaching his daughter the family secrets behind the coveted color purple. Lydia is content living in her ancestral home and learning the traditions of the royal colored dye.
But when Lydia and her father put their trust in the wrong people, they lose everything. Lydia’s father encourages her to start over in a new place, free from the taint and betrayal which follow them at home. An unlikely friendship with the Jewish Rebecca ensures that Lydia has a friend and ally in her new home of Phillipi.
Lydia struggles to honor her father and family heritage. She strives to carry on the family business in a time when women were rarely allowed to live and work on their own. Despite her successes, fear continues to stalk her every step until she hears the message of the apostle Paul. Finally, Lydia recognizes the source of peace and freedom. But when she is challenged once again by old foes and older secrets, will fear finally conquer her or will Lydia have the final victory? Continue reading “Book Review -Bread of Angels”
Hosted by: The Broke and the Bookish
Today’s Topic: Top Ten Books On My Fall TBR List
Well, I’m ashamed to say my current TBR list for both physical and digital books now numbers in the hundreds (hanging my head in shame). But never let it be said that I am a timid soul. No! I shall not be intimidated into limiting my TBR list. How can I be when there are so many great titles recently released and soon to release? These are the books I desperately hope to read this fall. Click on titles for links to each book’s Amazon page.
Continue reading “Top Ten Tuesday-Books on My Fall TBR List”
Drew Farthering is fresh off the success of solving the murder of his mother and step-father. During which time he met Madeline the woman of his dreams. Now that the tragedy is behind them, he is attempting to convince his American girlfriend to settle down in England and marry him. Though she loves Drew, she asks for more time to make such an important decision.
Unfortunately circumstances intervene in the arrival of Madeline’s prickly Aunt Ruth. She is determined to drag her niece back to Chicago, away from the man she views as an insincere playboy. And then of course, there is the added interruption of the murder of Drew’s family attorney.
Thanks to Drew’s keen eye and nimble mind, the local police detective invites Drew’s help in solving this latest crime. Drew is unprepared for how involved he will actually become. More murder victims keep appearing with seemingly no apparent connection to each other other than hatpins stuck through notes left on the victim’s chests. Even more disturbing is that these crimes continue to move closer and closer in proximity to Drew’s family home and the village of Farthering St. John. Will this amateur sleuth solve this mystery before the murderer strikes again? Or was his first success just luck? Even more importantly, will Drew be able to win over Madeline’s Aunt Ruth before she talks her niece into leaving England and Drew for good?
Continue reading “Book Review -Death by the Book”
Well, it’s that time of year when all the children and educators head back to school. This week’s Top Ten Tuesday topic is a back to school freebie.
I will confess, I’m a bit of a nerd. I always enjoyed learning in the classroom. My favorite subject was history and I was often chided for reading ahead in my textbook. Many of my friends complained that history was dull, full of names and dates which meant very little to them. To counter that opinion I am sharing my favorite novels set during various times with stories that make make history come alive. For more information on the titles, clicking on each link will give you a description of the story. Continue reading “Top Ten Tuesday -Back to School with History”
The year is 1720. In Mark of the King French midwife Julianne finds herself unjustly convicted of murder. Branded and married off to a fellow convict, she is shipped off to the primitive French outpost of New Orleans, where a delicate balance exists between the natives and the settlers.
One ray of hope in her exile is Julianne’s hope of finding her brother, a soldier who had been sent with the army to New Orleans. Another silver lining is the French military officer Marc-Paul who takes a special interest in making sure she is protected in a colony where she is marked as a criminal.
But conditions in New Orleans are difficult at best. Tensions run high with the threat of starvation and war ever present. Will Julianne find the answers she seek? Will she ever overcome the king’s brand marking her as a criminal?
Continue reading “Book Review -The Mark of the King”
In High as the Heavens Evelyn March has endured her fair share of tragedy. She’s lost much of her family, including her husband during WWI. Eve is also a survivor with terrible secrets that cripple her with guilt as she goes about her job as a British nurse working with the Red Cross in the enemy occupied territory of Brussels. But Eve is not all that she seems. At night she carries out high risk missions for the Belgian underground resistance to assist the Allies in defeating the German occupiers.
British pilot Simon Forrester is on his way to meet with a contact of the resistance when his plane crashes and he is injured. Eve is stunned to recognize a familiar face from home and makes it her mission to care for and protect this link to her past at great risk to herself. But Eve is also determined to protect her own secrets as Simon begins to dig into memories which have left her shattered. At the same time Eve and Simon must work together to expose a deadly double agent within their ranks while both of them also continue in their own private side missions.
Continue reading “Book Review – High as the Heavens”
In Storm and Silence suffragist Lilly Linton dresses up like a man in order to cast her vote. But she doesn’t count on meeting Rikkard Ambrose, one of the wealthiest, most powerful men in London. Nor does she expect his job offer after she unintentionally displays the very attributes he is looking for in a personal secretary.
Mr. Ambrose is shocked to find out his newest employee is in actuality a woman! Though he tries to rescind his offer, she plays up to his honor as a gentleman and he is forced to employ her. Though she refuses to give him a reason to fire her, Ambrose decides to force her to quit the job of her own accord.
But Lilly is more stubborn and wily than he expects. The office is a powder keg ready to explode when the brilliant, progressive and hot-tempered Lilly matches wits against her silently cold and ruthless boss. Who will win this battle? And when Mr. Ambrose’s business dealings put them in danger will the fact that LIlly is a woman be a hindrance or an asset? Continue reading “Book Review – Storm and Silence”
When young Angelo’s mother dies, his father sends him to live with his grandparents in Italy who are employed by a wealthy Jewish businessman. Still grieving, Angelo is befriended by the precocious daughter of the house, Eva Roselli. Eva and Angelo grow up together much like a brother and sister, but they both know the feelings between them run deeper. However, Angelo is determined to be a priest and Eva is set on a path to be an accomplished violinist, so despite occasionally betraying their feelings for one another, they each pursue their chosen vocations.
Everything changes when WWII breaks out and Italy allies itself with Germany. Angelo’s duty to God and the priesthood are challenged by his mission to keep not only his beloved Eva safe, but also their shared loved ones. Things only become more complicated when they both get involved in the Italian underground working to save and rescue Italy’s Jewish population. Continue reading “Book Review -From Sand and Ash”