Marketing Coordinator. Enjoys science, nature, & food writing, historical & speculative fiction, fantasy, & books about books.
- Bookie since 2017 -
O'Connor chronicles the dark despair of the act of writing itself through the lens of London's famous Lyceum Theater. A book-within-a-book of the highest caliber, it treads the boards from the dazzling spectacle of Shakespeare to the quiet desperation of everyday life. It's also occasionally, as befits a story of Dracula's creator, creepingly spooky... Shadowplay made me laugh, weep, and most importantly, begat a sense of intimately knowing its real-life muses: Abraham Stoker, Ellen Terry, and and Henry Irving.
A worthy addition to the Austen canon, The Other Bennet Sister gives voice to a much-maligned character from Pride and Prejudice, sister Mary, the awkwardly bookish middle child. We see the events from the original story afresh through her eyes, and find out what happens after all her more glittering sisters are married off. Is poor bespectacled Mary doomed to spinsterhood or, even more terrifying, the itinerant life of a governess? The reader keenly feels the pain of living in the shadow cast by siblings gifted more liberally with those characteristics society and fiction reward - vivaciousness, beauty, elegance. Hadlow seamlessly and respectfully fits this side-story into the Austenverse while provoking new insights into the characters you thought you knew inside-out.