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The germ of the tale of Frankenstein was created when Mary Shelly, along with Percy Bysshe Shelly and several others were at a lakeside  during a storm.  They challenged each other to come up with a suitable story.
Mary Shelly turned her stormy tale into a full length novel.

For loads of information about Frankenstein, click here.

Despite it being almost 200 years since it's publication, the novel is fresh and engaging. When the monster tells his part of the tale the reader feels every sympathy for him.

Can a man be maimed by witchcraft?
Can a severed head speak?

Based on the most notorious of English witch-trial, this is a tale of magic, superstition, conscience and ruthless murder.

It is set in a time when politics and religion were closely intertwined; when, following the Gunpowder Plot of 1605, every Catholic conspirator fled to a wild and untamed place far from the reach of London law.

This is Lancashire.  This is Pendle.
This is witch country.

Above is the bumph from the back of the book, tells you enough to catch your attention, but doesn't give away much of the plot.  It's by Jeanette Winterson, what else do you need to know, it's bound to be good.

Jeanette Winterson breathes more magic into this slim volume about the machinations going on behind the arrests of the women accused of witchcraft from Pendle in 1612.  Much more magic than I have encountered in any other books based on the Lancashire Witches.
I also love the way she portrays Thomas Potts, as a jumped up jobsworth who sees witchcraft and popery everywhere he looks.
Another well crafted book from the pen of Jeanette Winterson

An engrossing book that starts with someone getting an unexpected promotion, then a woman who has served time in prison, wrongly convicted, for the murder of her children, is murdered. The only link to the reader is that the person who has received the promotion is working on a documentary about wrongly accused women.
It's a fast paced book with plenty to keep the reader's attention.
Sophie Hannah is a favourite of mine.

I only managed to read as far as page 41 in this novel before I gave up on it.
Stream of consciousness novels are not really my kind of read, and this is very disjointed, as the narrator into whose consciousness we are being given an insigth is a drug addict.  He leaves of sentences half way through and jumps scenario, topic and time.  I realise that this might be how a drug addict thinks, but it just got very frustrating and I gave up.
I have read stream of consciouness novels in the past and found most of them readable, but not the best book I have ever read. 
I might in the future give this novel another try, as I have read If Nobody Speaks of Remarkable Things by the same author, and from what I remeber I liked it.
My dislike might also be down to having just read two very different books and the change of pace threw me.

It's a while since I read Rebecca, (third year at Uni, but that was only 2002-2003,) and at the time I was mostly reading coursebooks and theory books.  I got The Scapegoat when I heard it was to be made into a TV drama this autumn. If they stick to the text it should be a really good dramatisation.
John, a university lecturer, is on holiday/fact gathering in France.  He stops in Le Mans and there at a station buffet he meets Jean, a French Comte.  They are strikingly similar, this chance likeness leads to them spending the evening together, drinking.  When John wakes the next afternoon, Jean has taken his clothes, his car and his wallet, leaving John his clothes and belongings.  A chauffeur is waiting to take Monsieur Le Comte back to the chateau.
Jean has left with John's identity and left John to pick up his life, and all it's attendant problems. John finds that he has to pass himself off as husband, son, father, brother, and lover to the circle of Jean's family.  He does at first try to tell people that he is not Jean, but no-one believes him. But John has different values to Jean, he has always wanted family life, and finds that Jean's family life is an acrimonious one, where he, (Jean,) only cares for his own comfort, not John's way at all.
I know it sounds very confusing, but it isn't, as the errant Jean does not figure for most of the novel.

The novel does have an introduction which outlines the plot.  I'm not sure if I like all aspects of this as it does reveal a few things, but it also lets the reader know that like Shakespeare, Du Maurier was fascinated by the possibility of duality, easiest explored by using twins or look-alikes.
I thoroughly enjoyed the novel and will be reading more of Du Maurier's in the future.

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