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Black Rainbow (2005)

Black Rainbow (2005)

Book Info

Rating
3.36 of 5 Votes: 1
Your rating
ISBN
0060745304 (ISBN13: 9780060745301)
Language
English
Publisher
harpertorch

About book Black Rainbow (2005)

A black rainbow is a moon rainbow. It is the also the opening scene for Black Rainbow by Barbara Michaels. In this gothic romance Megan O'Neill, governess falls in love with the handsome but dangerous Edmund Mandeville while sister Jane looks on helpless.Black Rainbow is the prequel to Someone in the House (1981). As it's basically the back story for a much better sounding (and more typical) Barbara Michaels horror novel, the story reads like a forced march. I haven't read Someone in the House (but want to).The novel has moments of dark and atmospheric tension reminiscent of better novels. Edmund's past hints at Daphne du Maurier's Rebecca and Megan's role as an outsider and governess, at Jane Eyre.Unfortunately these scenes are weakened by bland characterization and gender stereotyping. Megan's attraction to Edmund or his interest in her are never fully explained to any satisfaction. If the novel were more clearly a retelling of Jane Eyre or more clearly a bodice ripper, I would let their flimsy relationship slide.Typically the heroines in Michaels's books are strong, smart and stubborn. Megan is certainly stubborn but she is neither strong nor smart. If Jane is the heroine (and she narrates the second half of the novel), then more time should be spent on her background and her rivalry with her brother. Yes, they have their fights and yes, Edmund does try to get her out of the picture but all this comes so late in the novel that it felt like it was added at the last minute.

Meh. On the one hand, I found some of the historic/mystery elements of the book really intriguing and really wanted to see where things would go, but ultimately I was let down by the story. It was kind of all over the place. There were some things that would have been great starting points for some creepy elements, and then they were never explored. The POV switches halfway through from the naive Megan to the dull Jane (who was by no means dull when you were reading as Megan), and the love story that was evolving between Megan and Edmund was halted and suddenly all the characters drastically changed. I didn't really know where this story was going and the end was predictable. But I have seen that it is supposed to be a prequel to Someone In The House and that it was more of a backstory, so I will be reading that next to see how this aids the story.

Do You like book Black Rainbow (2005)?

Black Rainbow is a prequel to Someone in the House. If you read it in publication order, then you will watch the foreordained dance and have additional layers of enjoyment. If not, you still have a rather nice piece of historical fiction. Note that the novel is not romantic suspense or gothic romance as usually Barbara Michaels writes, but is still well written and thought provoking. One character lets us see the time through a more modern glass, but it doesn't feel too out of place. Still the bit of "preachiness" about the upper class and women during the time moved it down a notch. I wish I could give it 4.5 stars. If you are looking for romantic suspense or a gothic, don't pick this book as you will not enjoy it. If you are willing to let it stand on its own merits as historical fiction, then give it a whirl.
°™Jean

Barbara Michaels usually writes wonderful Gothic romances with great plot twists, wonderful characters and witty dialogue. You won't find any of that here. I had to force myself to finish this dreadful book.The "heroine" is actually the plain-looking and plain-spoken sister Jane. The governess who you think will be the heroine is a pretty idiot who can't see the obvious flaws in the man she works so hard to entrap. Except for Jane and a few workmen, every character in this book is so boorish, selfish or sociopathic that you don't care what happens to them.Forget this book. Read instead Michaels' clever Stitches in Time or her even better Wait for What Will Come. They're both so excellent you'll mourn when you come to the last page.
°™Ivonne Rovira

I love Barbara Michaels--even more so when she writes as Elizabeth Peters, but I found Black Rainbow very disappointing. I hate to say the story was mediocre, so I'll just say it wasn't very exciting. A bigger disappointment was in the writing itself. When I read a line to the effect that "Megan's heart popped out of her chest and landed with a plop at his feet" I literally closed the book, vowing not to open it again. I did finish it, however, because it's my policy to finish any book I start. I found myself checking the cover frequently though, as I simply couldn't believe that the book was actually written by Barbara Michaels. A major disappointment from a much loved author.
°™Maxine

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