Seduction

Overview

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 ...

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Overview

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.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
The 1843 drowning death of Victor Hugo’s beloved eldest daughter, Didine, provides the catalyst for Rose’s well-crafted paranormal novel of suspense, a sequel to The Book of Lost Fragrances (2012). In 1855, Hugo, who has exiled himself to the island of Jersey, agrees to a playwright friend’s suggestion that he attempt to communicate with Didine’s spirit at a séance. The effort to establish contact from beyond the grave succeeds, but as the novelist notes, in so doing he gave the devil “access to my very soul.” Meanwhile, in the present, Jac L’Etoile, the protagonist of The Book of Lost Fragrances, arrives on Jersey to investigate a discovery in her area of expertise—Druid mythology. That discovery stems from a document Hugo wrote, linking the two narratives. Rose is especially good at recreating Hugo’s despair and willingness to do anything to reunite with Didine, making his abandonment of rationality all too plausible. Agent: Dan Conaway, Writers House. (May)
Associated Press Staff
Praise for M.J. Rose and The Book of Lost Fragrances

"A compelling page turner...Once you catch a whiff, you will be enchanted."

Booklist
“Rose’s growing fan base will probably devour this one.”
Cleveland Plain Dealer
“Provocative…a sweeping sense of romance [and] history.”
Douglas Preston
"The Book of Lost Fragrances by MJ Rose is an amazing novel, an utterly engrossing thriller that weaves together reincarnation, ancient Egypt, international intrigue, and a lost book of fragrances. Elegantly written, with unforgettable characters and flawlessly realized international settings, here is a novel that will keep you up all night—and leave you with powerful feelings of revelation, wonder, and the infinitude of human possibility."
Laura Lippman
"M.J. Rose is a bold, unflinching writer and her resolute honesty puts her in a class by herself."
David Liss
"Seduction is an absolute pleasure to read — clever, suspenseful, exciting, mysterious, learned, and engrossing. Some of the best historical fiction I've read in quite some time and just plain reading fun. M.J. Rose is at the top of her game, and that is saying something."
Katherine Neville
"A simmering brew that mingles the erotic sensuality of Patrick Suskind's Perfume with the dark and timeless obsessions of Rider Haggard's classic, She. M.J. Rose has once again dipped deep into the flask of history and brought those rich aromas of the past back to life through the eyes of Jac L'Etoile, a woman who has mastered the scent of conflict, passion and danger."
Steve Berry
"The Book of Lost Fragrances resonates with spirit, blending myth with reality, tragedy with triumph, pain with joy. You'll find yourself questioning everything you believe —— and wanting more."
The Free Lance-Star Review
“A fascinating mystery with many twists and turns…combines intrigue with a touch of history and a lesson in the art of making exotic perfume, a bit of education mixed with the proverbial whodunit.”
Jamie Ford
Praise for Seduction

"Mysterious, haunting, and tragic, Seduction emerges as a suspenseful alchemy of potent ingredients, beautifully blended, that ignites your senses and leaves you aching for more."

New York Times bestselling author Steve Berry
"The Book of Lost Fragrances resonates with spirit, blending myth with reality, tragedy with triumph, pain with joy. You'll find yourself questioning everything you believe —— and wanting more."
New York Times bestselling author Douglas Preston

"The Book of Lost Fragrances by MJ Rose is an amazing novel, an utterly engrossing thriller that weaves together reincarnation, ancient Egypt, international intrigue, and a lost book of fragrances. Elegantly written, with unforgettable characters and flawlessly realized international settings, here is a novel that will keep you up all night—and leave you with powerful feelings of revelation, wonder, and the infinitude of human possibility."
New York Times bestselling author Katherine Neville

"A simmering brew that mingles the erotic sensuality of Patrick Suskind's Perfume with the dark and timeless obsessions of Rider Haggard's classic, She. M.J. Rose has once again dipped deep into the flask of history and brought those rich aromas of the past back to life through the eyes of Jac L'Etoile, a woman who has mastered the scent of conflict, passion and danger."
Anne Fortier
"A bewitching brew of history and suspense, as well as a deeply felt love story that transcends time, THE BOOK OF LOST FRAGRANCES had me spellbound from the very beginning, taking me from Ancient Egypt to Napoleonic France to the mordern day. This is a book full of delicious surprises, superb research, and brilliantly drawn characters that will live on in your heart long after you turn the last page."
Caroline Turgeon
"A sophisticated book that plunges you into a sensual, fascinating world filled with secrets and dreams and ghosts. There's a sweeping, old-world feel to every page, and you'll want to stay here, spellbound, a very long time."
Library Journal
Jac L'Etoile is a mythologist by trade and perfumer by pedigree. Heir to the legendary House of L'Etoile perfume company, Jac has been dodging her painful past for years. In this sequel to The Book of Lost Fragrances, Rose's time-shifting narrative recounts French novelist Victor Hugo's exile on the Isle of Jersey and his participation in hundreds of séances. In the present day, Jac is lured by the island's Celtic history and becomes enmeshed in a family drama that seems to stem back to ancient times. Treated by Jungian therapists since adolescence and well versed in their collective unconsciousness theories, Jac begins to accept that the hallucinations plaguing her may be memories of past lives. VERDICT Jac instinctively identifies her environment through its constituent scents; this results in a luxurious, sensual experience for the reader. Full of well-researched history, the paranormal, and modern intrigue, this atmospheric tale of suspense is fully engrossing to those willing to suspend their disbelief. [See Prepub Alert, 11/12/12.]—Laura Cifelli, Ft. Myers-Lee Cty. P.L., FL
Kirkus Reviews
Rose (The Book of Lost Fragrances, 2012, etc.) fails to breathe new life into her latest offering, which includes themes and characters introduced in previous stories and rehashes discussions about reincarnation, Jungian psychology and olfactory sensations. Mythologist Jac L'Etoile, a woman with a troubled past, is contacted by former fellow mental patient Theo Gaspard, who also has a troubled past. Theo's family home is on the Isle of Jersey, and Theo invites Jac to the island to view some mysterious discoveries he's made. Against her therapist's wishes, Jac journeys to the island, where she meets Theo's elderly aunts, both with--what else?--troubled pasts, and Ash, Theo's estranged and, yes, troubled brother. In the 1850s, the Isle of Jersey becomes Victor Hugo's residence-in-exile and Hugo, troubled by his daughter Didine's death, becomes obsessed with trying to communicate with her through séances. He also smokes hashish, which could explain his claim that he communicates with many of history's greatest souls, including Jesus and Shakespeare. One evening, Hugo meets Fantine, a mysterious, troubled young woman from a family of perfumers who recently lost a child, and he becomes obsessed with her. Switch to 56 B.C., when a tribe of Druids also occupies the Isles--right on the property belonging to Theo. Owain, the high priest, his wife and child live a pretty normal Druid life until he and the other priests have troubling visions that they believe Owain must fulfill in order to save the tribe. Meanwhile, in 1855, Hugo's having his own problems: He's wrangling with the Shadow of the Sepulcher, aka Lucifer, who's made him a pretty sweet offer. And then there's Jac in present-day life: She's suffering dizzy spells, being bombarded by different smells, experiencing overwhelming feelings of dread and calling out weird names. One of the aunts ties a ribbon around her wrist to keep Jac from slipping away to heaven-knows-where, and it seems to do the trick. As the author switches back and forth between the very distant past, the sort-of-distant past and the present, she finally connects all the troubled characters (long after the reader's managed to do so) and brings the book to a close--but not before Jac, her hosts and therapists have protracted discussions about reincarnation and the collective unconscious. Much déjà vu about nothing.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781611737509
  • Publisher: Center Point Pub
  • Publication date: 6/1/2013
  • Format: Library Binding
  • Edition description: Large Print Edition
  • Pages: 543
  • Product dimensions: 5.60 (w) x 8.50 (h) x 1.10 (d)

Meet the Author

M.J. Rose is the international bestselling author of twelve novels, one of which (The Reincarnationist) was the basis of the television series Past Lives. She is a founding board member of International Thriller Writers and the founder of the first marketing company for authors: AuthorBuzz.com. She lives in Greenwich, Connecticut.

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