The pallid sequel to Lynch’s 2009 debut, Isabel Burning, delves into the backstory of the first book, focusing on the relationship between alcoholic, violent Vladmir Millerovo and Veda, his unfortunate bride. Married off to Vladimir in part to get her away from her entirely too affectionate twin brother, Luca, Veda is dragged from Moscow to London to the Caribbean like a cork on the current of her husband’s self-destructive whims; while it is Vladmir whose weaknesses are most egregious, it is poor Veda who pays the highest price. At times, the book veers into self-parody, as with elements like Vladimir’s debauchery-drenched childhood in the family brothel and Veda’s incestuous love for Luca. Veda remains a sympathetic figure, but one cannot say the same for self-pitying Vladmir, who manages to leave almost all those who encounter him worse off for the experience. This novel might appeal to readers curious about the events that led to Isabel Burning, but it has little to offer as a stand-alone. (Aug.)
Donna Lynch has returned with the prequel to her acclaimed debut novel ISABEL BURNING. This is the tragic and haunting love story of damaged Russian scientist Vladimir Millerovo, a Grace ancestor, and his gifted, beautiful Romanian bride Veda.The couple are forced to flee late 1800′s Moscow, along with their baby daughter Ana, across several continents and an ocean to escape Vladimir's crimes and the ghosts that seek their revenge. Finding sanctuary in the Caribbean paradise of Martinique, the family tries to repair what has been broken only to find that the horror they sought to leave behind has been irrevocably burned into each of their hearts, and ignited a terrible gift in young Ana.