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The Dark Descent of Elizabeth Frankenstein by Kierstein White

Most of us know the story of Victor Frankenstein and his monster, but what about Elizabeth? Often disregarded as just a love interest manipulated to motivate the protagonist’s story line; this novel delves into her own backstory and motivations. Elizabeth Lavenza doesn’t know much about her life before she is adopted by the Frankenstein family. What should have been a deed done out of the goodness of their hearts turned out to be a ploy to keep their troubled son, Victor, in line. For the rest of her life Elizabeth feels responsible for controlling Victor’s disturbing behavior. But eventually she loses her grip on him and now she’ll have to fight to stop herself from losing everything. 

Being such a huge fan of the original “Frankenstein” by Mary Shelley I wasn’t sure if I would like this retelling. It does turn the story on it’s head and is a very different take on the tale than you might have come to expect, but the fun writing and well developed characters kept me hooked. I was surprised how much this book shocked me since I know the original so well, but “The Dark Descent” had a way of keeping a lot of the beats of the original novel but also adding its own suspenseful twists. 

Reserve the ebook from Overdrive here

 

Other retellings of classic novels:

Vinegar Girl by Anne Tyler: A modern retelling of Shakespeare’s “Taming of the Shrew” that captures the light hearted commentary on relationships but with a deeply flawed protagonist from modern day Baltimore. 

Jane Steele by Linsay Faye: An even darker take on “Jane Eyre” by Charlotte Bronte than the original novel, this story is a fast-paced and weirdly witty take on a classic. 

Pride, Prejudice, and Other Flavors by Sonali Dev: As the title suggests this novel is a retelling of Pride and Prejudice but if Jane Austen was a Bollywood director. This novel still keeps the charm of the original story but infuses it with commentary on modern class structures and cultural taboos. 

 

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