Wait For What Will Come, by Barbara Michaels

>> Thursday, May 08, 2003

Continuing with my reread of every single one of Elizabeth Peters / Barbara Michaels books, I read Wait For What Will Come, written under the latter pseudonym.

Carla Tregellas, a modern, sophisticated American woman, inherits the family mansion in Cornwall. The house--reminiscent of something in a Jane Austen novel--overlooks the craggy seacoast and is filled with hidden stairways and abandoned gardens. The unsolved disappearance of a resident two centuries earlier adds a Gothic touch, and Carla, intrigued, stays to investigate what could only be an ancestral curse. Along the way, she meets an assortment of characters who welcome her inquiries, although they seem to be warning her off the property at the same time.
A B+. I'd forgotten how chilly and atmospherica WFWWC was. Could this one be defined as a gothic? At times it feels like it's making fun of the genre, but in the end, it's all quite serious. I'd say yes, it's a gothic, but it's got more of a sense of humour than the classics.

Carla, our protagonist, seemed to be a bit too cynical and rigid at the beginning, but I soon warmed up to her when she started showing some romantic, impractical streaks. Oh, she was sensible and smart till the end, but her decision to stay longer at the house and her fascination with her roots made her a bit more human.

Her relationship with... I sholdn't say who, since Carla has quite a sample of men from which to choose. Anyone who's read a couple of BMs or EPs will guess who Carla will fall for as soon as he's introduced, but still... Anyway, their relationship could have stood to be better developed. Even a couple more pages at the end would probably do it. Still, I enjoyed their "courtship".

The paranormal aspect of the plot was wonderful. It ended up being quite well explained (though a bit over-complicated), but there was enough left unexplained by men's actions for it to be a satisfying paranormal.

Fun book, even if it was a bit hard to fall asleep the night after reading it, since I was alone in the house at the time. BTW, I also adored the setting: Cornwall.

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