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Mary's Monster - review

There have been other attempts at reworking or sequels to classics, some work, some sadly don't. It's probably hard enough writing your OWN sequel let alone one based on the work of someone else.

Most schools study a few Gothic greats and I often wonder if the pupils really get the feel of the narration with the language being of an older time and often the content is just not relevant to them, I'd personally only do short stories and poetry and play extracts not full texts, if they actually get it, they can read for pleasure...

The bicentenary of one of the absolute genuine classics has just arrived and so has this utterly brilliant re-imagining. 

The sheer background research and effort to write in the way Lita has is praise itself, but, what she has done is created something worthy of huge acclaim.

For a start the stunning B/W illustrations all the way through are worth seeing, her ability to make us feel we are with Mary and the others is as good as any writer and her skill in balancing narration and plot and style is just sensational.

I knew some of the backstory, she's put me right on a few matters, the situation with Mary's family wasn't fully known to me and its heartbreaking. Remember she was only in her teens and this was 200 years ago!

The romance or in some ways lack of romance, more infatuation really is handled beautifully, the independence and willingness to be herself and say what she things from Mary's perspective is utterly brilliant.

We get very little Monster, but that is good, we all have a view of him and Mr Creecher by Chris Priestley does a great job of filling some gaps there too.

Lita alternates between elegant and powerful prose, even poetry really and also compelling storytelling and also a feel of travel and culture.

I can only say every so often a book comes along you really love, I love Gothic stuff anyway, but that means this had to be special and it certainly is.

It's so beautiful and yet so sad, just like the original. It also sounds like Lita had a lot to deal with to get this done and I just hope she tackles something else as well as writes something unique, she is up there with Siobhan Dowd and John Boyne for me.

There is so much accessibility for pupils and teachers to work from and yet simply the story itself is one we all should read, I truly hope it gets some recognition and sales, i'd spend a little more and get the HB too, it is just such a quality book it deserves to be kept and reread. Extracts would work brilliantly on the radio too...

I hope a few of you read this and take my word for it, I totally think this is beyond 10/10 and am so pleased the librarian at Wirral Girls Grammar showed me her copy and thanks to Hodder for sending me it to review.

Mary Shelley fought for a vindication and freedom of speech and she certainly got it, I wonder what she would have developed if she'd lived longer, sadly another Bronte type situation...

Read and Enjoy and tell others!