I’ll be the first to say that there are mixed reviews about this book (ie. I loved it and Valeen hated it.)
Are any of reading it? What do you think so far?
If nobody else is reading it, Valeen and I will go ahead and post our reviews and thoughts and will include some spoilers I’m sure.
Since the month is half over, we’re going to start our review/chat about this book so spoilers follow…
Jennifer’s comments & thoughts:
I adore this book. It’s very “fairy-tale-esq”. Helena Trant is an 18 year old school girl in the Black Forest who gets lost while picnicing with her school mates. Through the mist rises a striking man on a white horse to save her. He takes her to his hunting lodge and he is very secretive about himself. Helena knows that, given the opportunity, her hero would not hesitateto ravish her. The next morning the maid returns Helena to her school without haste.
Almost a year later, Helena has returned to Germany and is excited about celebrating “The Seventh Moon” a celebration of Loke – the god of mischeif. The town square fills with revelers and she hears a familiar voice – she turns and it’s him. She agrees to return to his hunting lodge with him, as she has never stopped dreaming of him, but on the way she gets scared and knows that if she goes to his lodge that night she would no longer be a virgin. She tells him of her fears and he tells her they should marry. Helena can’t believe this. She agrees to marry but it has to be the next day and she won’t return to his lodge with him that evening.
They go to his lodge where he has a preist waiting to perform the marriage the following day. During the ceremony, the priest weds them and his name is Maximillian Count Lokenburg. They have 4 glorious days of wedded bliss – mostly without clothing. On the morning of the 5th day, Maximillian tells Helena his father is in trouble and he must go but he will return as soon as he can. Helena is saddened and decides to go back to her Aunt & Uncle’s house the following day for they say Max stopped by and told them Helena should wait for his return with them.
The next morning Helena awakens and her head is throbbing. She asks where Max is and her Aunt & Unlce tell her that during the festival she was accosted and raped in the forest. When they found her she was delirious and they had the doctor give her something to induce halucinations so she wouldn’t remember the horrible night. They said there was no Count and she wasn’t married. She doesn’t believe them. Was it possible that her 4 days of wedded bliss were truly all a dream?
There is a lot of mystery in this novel – the reader is torn between was it real or was it really all a dream? Due to the storyline, Max and Helena are apart the majority of the book which is one reason why some readers don’t like this novel. The entire book is also written from Helena’s perspective so you never know what Max is thinking or the reasons behind his actions – or if he’s even real. However, this book was published in 1972 and I think the one-person perspective was popular for works of that time.
I like books of undying love and devotion. Books where, no matter what, the people cling to the thread of hope and the possiblity of returning to their one true love. This book is all of that for me.
Valeen has different opinions. Go ahead Val, feel free to rip it to shreds. It won’t bother me and I welcome the opportunity for our readers to see how books can be reveered by one person and abhored by another.
Although I didn’t abhor it, I didn’t like it either. There were many aspects of the book that I liked … like the time the protagonists actually spent together.
Max got off on the wrong foot with me from the beginning when he was so vague with Helena about who he was … even what his name was.
The entire book being from Helena’s perspective got on my nerves. I really wanted to see Max, learn what he was thinking, see different parts of him. But I do understand that it had to be this way in order to keep the mystery of the book. If we’d been able to see Max we would have known he was real …. although technically we knew anyway since lets face it, this was a romance novel. The guy wasn’t a dream.
I also though that the both of them could have seriously fought a little harder to find out the truth in the beginning. Especially Max, being a prince, would have had the resources to search for Helena. He KNEW where she was from and where her family was … you’d think he could have at least checked it out. But no … they had to be this way and we spent three quarters of the book without a hero.
I think there’s more I wanted to say but I just can’t think on it right now. I’ll edit later on.
Oh! One other thing was that Max in the beginning was mysterious and aloof and then all of sudden he turned into this lovey-dovey sappy hero. That bugged me.
What about everyone else? Anyone able to read it?