The Dark Descent of Elizabeth Frankenstein
Author: Kiersten White
Publisher: Delacorte Press, 2018
Source: Personal Purchase
I admit it: I am a little out of season with this review. This book debuted with the 200th anniversary of Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein and it would be a lovely addition to our October scare-fest book selections. However, it has been on my desk, just tempting me to crack it open for some time now and I simply didn’t want to wait any longer. Warning: it is a dark and disturbing reimagining of the original story.
Elizabeth Lavenza is a cast-off waif whom the Frankenstein family introduces to their son, Victor, in hopes that she will become his friend. Elizabeth sees this friendship as her opportunity to escape from cruelty and poverty. If the Frankenstein family likes her – if Victor likes her – she will move toward a better life. Elizabeth is successful. Not only is she Victor’s one friend, she makes herself indispensable to the family.
Victor is described as “an odd, intense young man” (42). Well, that’s one way to put it. Here is another way – he is troubled and dangerous and creepily sinister. Elizabeth thinks she has control over the situation and can smooth over any problem created by his actions. But does she really?
Victor’s behavior turns darker with every flip of the page. Victor has disappeared and it is imperative Elizabeth finds him (after all, if Victor isn’t there to present a problem, who needs you?) She finds him living in miserable and suspiciously scary circumstances. Too bad she wasn’t smart enough to run away!
If you think Frankenstein was a horror story, think again. This newer version will really have you pulling those bedsheets over your head!