Mask of the Night

Mask of the Night

by M. J. Ryan, Ryan
     
 

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The place is Ireland. The time - the turn of the century. Jenny's late mother's face is known to her only from a portrait. Then, just before her twelfth birthday, her father leaves on a trip to Europe but fails to return, killed in a freak accident. Thus she and her grandfather are left alone to face the new century. But Jenny has her friends Yvonne and Andrew for… See more details below

Overview

The place is Ireland. The time - the turn of the century. Jenny's late mother's face is known to her only from a portrait. Then, just before her twelfth birthday, her father leaves on a trip to Europe but fails to return, killed in a freak accident. Thus she and her grandfather are left alone to face the new century. But Jenny has her friends Yvonne and Andrew for company, and also - once she discovers an old mask in the attic - a dark, handsome stranger who appears at her bedside at night, whispering dreams of the impossible.... Desiree - what kind of a name is that for a good Irish Catholic girl in 1967! Dee won't have it; in fact, the fewer who know of it, the better. Still, it was one of her mother's few foibles, and Dee's annoyance doesn't stretch to preventing visits home to Kilashane - where Dee has long been fascinated by the big ruin of a house down the boreen, and by the mysterious madman who haunts its grounds. There she catches glimpses of treasure among the shattered columns - carnival masks, wonderful hats, and faded leather diaries that tell dark stories of long-dead lives....

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Editorial Reviews

Kirkus Reviews
At the core of this spooky yarn, swaddled in Anne Ricean supernatural strands, is a concern half-concealed before in the author's Shadows from the Fire (1995)—the ugly tension between the sexes, in which women are the losers, big-time.

Here, two women, 50 years apart, attract demonic lovers and amass ancient curses, while even their peripheral sisters-in-arms wilt like moths: "Passion and injustice have a way of marking the very air around them and of reverberating down the years." From the time of an Inquisition in Venice comes the origin of this story of cruelty, terrible passion, and two artifacts belonging to an apostate priest who has turned to the occult: a gold ring and a silver mask, which appear and disappear in the lives of Desiree and Jenny. When English Jenny discovers the mask just before WW I, she braves the rage of Papa and the fears of Gramps to put it on her face. The world is then revealed as a "terrible lonely place." There's more magic afoot when a strange man appears from nowhere, saying odd things. The grown-up Jenny goes on to endure a disastrous marriage to mundane Andrew; she's repulsed by sex and "swamped by the ordinary." Andrew's sister Yvonne marries Theo, needy and vulnerable, it seemed, until his own strange metamorphosis. A ghastly climax ensues when all four meet, with Theo's hapless mother and sister, in his Irish estate, Kilashane. Kilashane, much later, is a personal mystery to Dee, who, in 1967, will also have eerie visitations there, even waver into a past and lose the gold ring she'd found. Kilashane is now a ruin, but who will tell Dee what caused this? She marries fascinating American Peter Eggli, who, at the last, murmurs that he will "explain everything," as he places that gold ring on her finger.

A bouquet of fleurs-de-mal and close-packed scary stuff; people and places not what they seem; promising escapes with dead ends, etc. Chilly con carne.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780783803807
Publisher:
Gale Group
Publication date:
12/28/1998
Series:
G. K. Hall Romance Series
Pages:
531
Product dimensions:
6.45(w) x 9.48(h) x 1.13(d)

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