Michael Cavacini

An award-winning arts and culture blog.

Archive for the tag “Victor Hugo”

Book Review – Seduction by M.J. Rose

SeductionI recently read my first book by M.J. Rose, Seduction, and its compelling, suspenseful narrative kept me turning pages from start to finish. Rose’s ability to effortlessly switch between two storylines, filled with rich dialogue and palpable characters, kept me coming back for more. I was completely invested in Jac L’Etoile’s story arch, and I love how it intersected with Victor Hugo’s. Seduction was bursting with historical detail that kept me engrossed in the characters’ world, and the conclusion left me completely satisfied. If you’re trying to decide what to read next, I highly recommend you check out Seduction.

Below is the book’s synopsis, and make sure to read my interview with M.J. Rose to learn more about the author.

Synopsis

A gothic tale about Victor Hugo’s long-buried secrets and the power of a love that never dies . . . In 1843, novelist Victor Hugo’s beloved nineteen-year-old daughter drowned. Ten years later, still grieving, Hugo initiated hundreds of séances from his home on the Isle of Jersey in order to reestablish contact with her. In the process, he claimed to have communed with Plato, Galileo, Shakespeare, Dante, Jesus—and even the devil himself. Hugo’s transcriptions of these conversations have all been published.

Or so it has been believed . . .

Recovering from a great loss, mythologist Jac L’Etoile thinks that throwing herself into work will distract her from her grief. In the hopes of uncovering a secret about the island’s mysterious Celtic roots, she arrives on Jersey and is greeted by ghostly Neolithic monuments, medieval castles and hidden caves. But the man who has invited her there, a troubled soul named Theo Gaspard, hopes she’ll help him discover something quite different— transcripts of Hugo’s lost conversations with someone he called the Shadow of the Sepulcher. Central to his heritage, these are the papers his grandfather died trying to find. Neither Jac nor Theo anticipate that the mystery surrounding Victor Hugo will threaten their sanity and put their very lives at stake.

Seduction is a historically evocative and atmospheric tale of suspense with a spellbinding ghost story at its heart, written by one of America’s most gifted and imaginative novelists. Awakening a mystery that spans centuries, this multilayered gothic tale brings a time, a place and a cast of desperate characters brilliantly to life.

Les Misérables – The Torch Has Been Passed

Hugh JackmanToday, I finally saw Les Misérables. Being a fan of plays and musicals, I wanted to see this film for quite some time. While I was aware of the general premise behind the film, I never read the novel or saw the musical. I’m glad to say that it was a terrific film, filled with glorious music and a stellar cast. To me, what was most interesting about the movie was that Colm Wilkinson, the original Jean Valjean, passed the torch to Hugh Jackman.

Wilkinson’s presence in the film was a smart way to pay homage to the original musical, and the message behind the scene where he handed candlesticks to Hugh Jackman’s character was clear: The torch has been passed. Wilkinson, a fixture of Broadway, lent his voice to an extensive list of musicals, including: Les Misérables, The Phantom of the Opera, Man of La Mancha, and Jekyll & Hyde, just to name a few. Now it’s Hugh Jackman’s turn. As you’ll see from the video below, this symbolic passing also took place off the screen.

For those yearning for Colm Wilkinson’s Jean Valjean, below is a video of him performing “Bring Him Home” at the Les Misérables 10th Anniversary Concert.

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