The Darkling

(Sorry! The images were not working. However, you can see it here.)

The Darkling by R. B. Chesterton is, in short, and excellent piece of fiction. Set in southern Alabama, this novel combines the allure of a graceful Southern Gothic with the page-turning drive of a suspense. Full of anticipation and suspense, this book is simply terrifying in a Hitchcock sort of way… if Hitchcock set his films under the moss-covered shade trees of the South.

When a family purchases a bed and breakfast and manor with a Golden Age tragic past, they don’t expect to be plagued by evil. It’s all up to the children’s live-in tutor to save them from the evil force destroying them all, one by one. Because of the plot-twists, this is all I am going to say for the summary.

This novel is not suitable for small children, but teenagers will thoroughly enjoy it. It’s a pleasure to read a dark, Gothic piece that is truly engrossing, romantic, and beautifully written. It will appeal to fans of the now popular darker novels, suspense, thriller, or horror readers, fans of good Southern literature, or anyone who likes a well-written book. R.B. Chesterton has a treasure in this novel. It hearkens to both Wuthering Heights and Cristobel.

This novel is scary all the way through, which is part of its hook and keeps the pages turning. That said, this may not be a bedtime book. I know I kept the lights on at least one night after reading it.

Themes: (I must be vague, because there is too much in the plot to make many descriptions. I will not add spoilers this time.)

Good vs. Evil: What are their nature? How far will they go? What is this universal conflict and how far does that go?

Loyalty: Loyalties come into question- loyalties to family, adopted family, and to self.

Free-will: How well can we protect those we love?

Duty and Responsibility

Existential: Can we change, or are we what we are? Are we a certain way or certain thing before we even know it? If that is the case, how much does that determine our lives without our knowledge?

Inklings: Highly Recommended

Ages: Restricted; not suitable for small children, but fine for many adolescents… and a great read for adults!


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