Title: The Demon Lover
Author: Carol Goodman
First published January 1, 2011
448 pages, ebook
ISBN: 9780345526274 (ISBN10: 0345526279)
Samantha has always been fascinated by Gothic literature and fairy tales, so she jumps at the chance to teach at the prestigious Fairwick College in upstate New York. But her excitement quickly turns to terror when she realizes that her recurring dreams of a seductive stranger are more than just dreams.
The stranger is an incubus, a demon lover who has chosen Samantha as his next victim. As she tries to resist his charms, Samantha discovers that she’s not the only one in Fairwick with mythical creatures for companions.
With the help of a coven of witches and a group of fairies, Samantha must find a way to banish the demon lover from both her dreams and her heart before it’s too late.
About the Author
Meet Carol Goodman, an accomplished author who has written several award-winning novels including The Lake of Dead Languages, The Seduction of Water, The Widow’s House, and The Night Visitors. Along with her husband Lee Slonimsky, Carol has co-authored the Watchtower fantasy trilogy.
Her writing has been featured in esteemed publications such as The Greensboro Review, Literal Latte, The Midwest Quarterly, and Other Voices.
Carol’s love for Latin led her to teach the subject in Austin, Texas after obtaining her degree from Vassar College. She later went on to earn an M.F.A. in fiction from the New School University.
Currently, Carol teaches literature and writing at The New School and SUNY New Paltz, and resides with her family in the beautiful Hudson Valley.
The Demon Lover by Carol Goodman is a masterpiece of modern gothic literature that explores the dark underbelly of New York’s elite literary circles. Goodman is best known for her atmospheric prose, complex characters, and intricate plotting.
The Demon Lover is an excellent example of her skills as a writer and storyteller. The book tells the story of a young, aspiring writer named Callie McFay who is hired as a teaching assistant at a prestigious writing school in upstate New York.
There, she is drawn into a web of intrigue that involves a group of writers and artists with alarming connections to the occult. As Callie uncovers the dark secrets of her colleagues, she becomes increasingly enmeshed in a world of betrayal, danger, and forbidden desire.
One of the strengths of The Demon Lover is Goodman’s ability to create a vivid, immersive setting. The book is set in a crumbling, gothic mansion surrounded by misty woods and shifting shadows.
The atmosphere is claustrophobic and oppressive, mirroring the psychological state of the characters. Goodman’s descriptions of nature and landscape are lush and evocative, providing a sense of foreboding and mystery.
Another strength of the book is its characterization. Callie is a complex, fully realized protagonist with a strong voice and a compelling backstory.
Her struggles with writer’s block, self-doubt, and inner demons are explored with sensitivity and nuance. The other characters are equally well-drawn, from the enigmatic headmaster to the charming but dangerous love interest.
The pacing of the book is also well-handled. Goodman keeps the reader guessing with unexpected twists and turns, building suspense and tension to a satisfying climax.
The themes of the book, including obsession, betrayal, and the power of art, are explored with depth and complexity. The only weakness of the book is its occasional reliance on cliched gothic tropes, such as the mysterious stranger, the haunted house, and the secret society.
However, Goodman manages to subvert these tropes in creative ways, making them feel fresh and original. Overall, The Demon Lover is a tour-de-force of gothic literature that will satisfy readers who crave suspense, romance, and psychological complexity.
It is a must-read for fans of authors such as Daphne du Maurier, Shirley Jackson, and Sarah Waters. The book is culturally significant in its exploration of the intersection of art and the occult, and it is particularly relevant in today’s world of conspiracy theories and fake news.
I highly recommend this book to anyone who enjoys intelligent, atmospheric writing and a good, old-fashioned mystery. 4.5/5