From Stephanie Hemphill, author of the Printz Honor winner Your Own, Sylvia and the acclaimed novel Wicked Girls: A Novel of the Salem Witch Trials, comes the fascinating story of gothic novelist Mary Shelley, most famous for the classic Frankenstein.Read more...
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From Stephanie Hemphill, author of the Printz Honor winner Your Own, Sylvia and the acclaimed novel Wicked Girls: A Novel of the Salem Witch Trials, comes the fascinating story of gothic novelist Mary Shelley, most famous for the classic Frankenstein.
An all-consuming love affair with famed poet Percy Bysshe Shelley, a family torn apart by scandal, a young author on the brink of greatness: Hideous Love is the story of the mastermind behind one of the most iconic figures in all of literature, a monster constructed out of dead bodies and brought to life by the tragic Dr. Frankenstein.
This luminous verse novel reveals how Mary Shelley became one of the most celebrated authors in history.
- ISBN-13: 9780061853319
- ISBN-10: 0061853313
- Publisher: Balzer & Bray/Harperteen
- Publish Date: October 2013
- Page Count: 312
- Reading Level: Ages 13-17
Publishers Weekly® Reviews
- Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page .
- Review Date: 2013-09-09
- Reviewer: Staff
Hemphill’s fictional autobiography-in-verse of Mary Shelley focuses on her domestic life, which makes for a gripping story while diminishing its subject. Mary’s awe for her famous philosopher father sets the stage for her hero-worship of her husband, poet Percy Bysshe Shelley. Mary girlishly finds his interest in her flattering, and he leaves his wife to run away with her, scandalizing Mary’s family. Shelley tells Mary she has “great things to write./ It is your lovely fate,” and treats her as an intellectual equal; Hemphill (Wicked Girls) portrays writing and motherhood as Mary’s greatest joys. However, Mary also idealizes Percy despite his clear failings: financial mismanagement, jealous hypochondria during her pregnancies, and a selfish interest in free love, including a likely lengthy affair with her stepsister as they “travel as a threesome/ once again like/ some tiresome, rickety wheelbarrow.” Painting Mary’s feelings about Percy as simplistic devotion, despite his repeatedly appalling behavior, makes her a frustrating character as time goes on. Hemphill’s verse can be elegant, but also jerky and staccato, limiting the story’s complexity and, ironically, Mary’s ability to express herself. Ages 13–up. (Oct)