“The Camera was quiet this morning, nearly empty, and we hurried up a polished staircase to the macabre niche where we’d surprised my father the day before. I swallowed a threat of tears as we entered the tiny room; hours ago, my father had been sitting here, that strangely distant look veiling his eyes, and now I didn’t even know where he was.” (p. 171)
It’s hard to say what I like best about this novel. Is it the relationship between the father and daughter? The strong tea served in porcelain pots they enjoy together across Europe? Is it the libraries, such as the Radcliffe Camera above, filled with papers and maps, card catalogs and research? Or, is it simply the mystery itself of Rossi’s disappearance, perhaps abduction, and our heroine’s father slowly disclosing the horrible tale before he, too, disappears? His is a tale which involves Dracula and crypts, menacing shadows and bashed in heads, obscurely veiled letters and mysterious disappearances. Not to mention little books with drawings of dragons left on library tables.
I eagerly plunge ahead, unable to wait until October 14 for the final posting. Even though I’ve read this charming and suspenseful novel before, it does not disappoint.
In fact, it makes me long to visit Istanbul, and the remote places of Romania, myself.
Find discussions at the midway point on The Estella Society.
(Arti of Ripple Effects wrote a wonderful post on an ultra modern library in Toronto. As I read her words, and looked at her pictures, I was comparing that library with the ones described by Elizabeth Kostovo in The Historian. The traditional library with classic lines is where my heart is most closely aligned. But it’s interesting to consider all types. Do you have a favorite?)