Plot: This captivating portrait of an unravelling woman is gripping and well-paced, with layers of tantalizing mysteries for readers to attempt to untangle. It also manages to balance historical fiction and mystery well, and everything culminates into a satisfying conclusion.
Prose/Style: The voice of the titular Mrs. Saville is strong, believable, and she is the magnetic force holding the novel together. The epistolary writing style is evocative and captivating, with well-crafted character and story moments.
Originality: What makes this historical fiction novel unique is its subplot that speculates about the creation of Frankenstein and what life would have been like for the Shelleys. Its epistolary form also makes the novel stand out, as it allows for the mysteries to build really well.
Character Development/Execution: The titular character is well-defined and complex, and she is the star of the novel. While some of the minor characters tend to become a little one-dimensional, most are fleshed out and intriguing.
Blurb: A tantalizing tale of historical fiction that will keep readers up all night as they, and Mrs. Saville, try to unweave a web of intrigue and duplicity.
Date Submitted: August 02, 2021
"Mrs Saville is an eerie novel that I could not put down, and for me, that’s rare. Author Ted Morrissey channels a fictional character in a way that I have never experienced before. It reminded me of the practice of automatic writing in which a person goes into a trance, a spirit speaks through them, and they write down the otherworldly message. There is an unexpected supernatural quality to this novel. . . . This jewel of a novel hypnotized me into the world of Mrs Saville.”
"In this epistolary novel set in 19th-century England, a brother’s sudden return ushers a darkness into his sister’s home. . .
Morrissey magisterially conjures—first by incremental inches and then in a crashing crescendo—a fearsome atmosphere of something vague but evil. The author builds that cloud of foreboding out of pieces that seem disconnected but finally cohere in a univocal mood: Philip’s worrisome silence, the death of a child, and Margaret’s resentful conclusion that God has abandoned her. In addition, the author cleverly ties that mounting malevolence to Mary’s own writing in a way that genuinely adds to the story. A fantastically chilling psychodrama intelligently woven into literary history."