About the Book:
• Publisher: Pantheon (January 29, 2013)
About the Author:
I chose to read this because it sounded different; it would be a change for me from my usual type of book. I don’t pick many literary novels as you well know because I’m not an allegorical thinker and I often find they go over my head. Sometimes I am rewarded with a book I adore, sadly this time I found myself drowning in confusion. It is not, I don’t think, completely the fault of the author as the writing is in some parts very evocative of time, place and feeling. I think the problem was my inability to go beyond the literal and appreciate her magical and fantastic elements. So here we go, I’ll try but this was not one of my favorites.
Evangeline is a woman born to a mother who really didn’t care whether she existed or not. Her grandmother Louise gave her the only love she ever had. She would go and spend summers in her grandmother’s house in New York where she heard stories of Louise’s past in Louisiana and the powers of scent. Louise was an aromata – a maker of scents and she believed that it was the most powerful of the senses. Louise dies and leaves Evangeline (Eva) her house and all of its secrets.
When Eva goes to the house for the first time after her grandmother’s death she finds a young man there – Gabriel. She knows him from town but why is he there? He says it’s the only quiet place in town he can study. He’s in med school and he didn’t think Louise would mind. Eva thinks this is a sign the Louise has “left” him to her. In their explorations of the house they find Louise’s work room and a box she left for Evangeline with a note telling her to only open it if she wants her life to change completely. Guess what?
The box contains a vial with a liquid that when applied gives Eva a scent that draws people to her. Especially Gabriel. They soon become a couple, move to New Orleans so Gabriel can go back to Tulane and Eva is now bored every day while he is in school. So she goes off and starts sitting for their landlord, a mediocre portrait artist who has nefarious plans in mind.
Bad things happen. Weird things happen. There is a fortune telling 14 year old boy in the mix.
I also felt that it didn’t live up to the synopsis in that the power of this scent of Evangeline’s was truly never fully explored or to me anyway, explained. There is an explanation but it too went over my head. I am not saying don’t read it because there are some good reviews for it, I am just saying it was not for me.
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Disclosure: I received a free copy of The Scent of Darkness from TLC Book Tours for my honest review. I received no compensation for this post.