The Mirk and Midnight Hour

 
4.7
 
0.0 (0)
1233 0
The Mirk and Midnight Hour
Age Range
13+
Release Date
March 11, 2014
ISBN
978-0385752862
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A Gothic thriller and captivating love story set in Civil War Mississippi Seventeen-year-old Violet Dancey has been left at home in Mississippi with a laudanum-addicted stepmother and love-crazed stepsister while her father fights in the war—a war that has already claimed her twin brother. When she comes across a severely injured Union soldier lying in an abandoned lodge deep in the woods, things begin to change. Thomas is the enemy—one of the men who might have killed her own brother—and yet she’s drawn to him. But Violet isn’t Thomas’s only visitor. Someone has been tending to his wounds—keeping him alive—and it becomes chillingly clear that this care hasn’t been out of compassion. Against the dangers of war and threatening powers of voodoo, Violet fights to protect her home, her family, and the man she’s begun to love.

Editor reviews

1 reviews

A Southern Belle to Emulate
Overall rating 
 
4.7
Plot 
 
5.0
Characters 
 
4.0
Writing Style 
 
5.0
In Strands of Bronze and Gold, Jane Nickerson took on a retelling of the old tale of Bluebeard in a fantastic, mysterious, story, mixing elements of the gothic, the South, fairy tales, and murder-mysteries. It therefore follows that I would be instantly attracted to The Mirk and Midnight Hour, yet another retelling, set in the humid heat of Mississippi during the Civil War.

This supposedly a retelling of the Ballad of Tam Lin, which I had never heard of, and have since read. Though it is not exactly like that story, I think reading this without having some sort of devoted love of that ballad helped me appreciate this book for what it is, rather than what I would expect it to be like.

Violet Dancey is as remarkable and endearing of a character as I could hope. Her devotion to her family, to her friends, even to her slaves, whom she considers friends, is to be admired. She ends up as step-sister to a girl who shuns her at school and elsewhere, a social butterfly who has a host of admirers and trumps Violet in the looks department--and, lo and behold, befriends her, and does her best to see through her faults in order to love her into becoming a better person. This friendship, not to mention her friendship with her slave Laney, with her cousin, Seeley, and even with those who we can definitely call her enemies in this story, is one of the highlights of the book. The different elements of fantasy that are present throughout the story and the wonderful glimpse into small-town Southern life all bring this book to life in a chilling and exhilarating way. I really do adore Nickerson's writing. I have to say that her female characters shine in a way I appreciate wholeheartedly; and not only that, I almost feel as though these Southern belles are similar in spirit to the character I admire in Gone With the Wind: not selfish, bratty Scarlett O'Hara, but her best friend, Melanie, who I felt was the truly admirable character--before forced to simply survive. Violet grows and matures and falls in love in this story, and hopefully, you will fall in love with hers.
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