The Dark by Claire Mulligan

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Mulligan, in the main, avoids this pitfall, instead offering us the opportunity to experience spiritualism as a new and fascinating phenomena.
-National Post arts

Synopsis

In the deep of winter 1893, a briskly practical physician named Mrs. Mellon arrives at a New York tenement and takes up her duty to care for the aged, the indigent and the dying. Her patient in the garret, she decides, fits all three categories nicely -- that is, before she realizes she is in the presence of a most unusual lost soul: the charismatic Maggie Fox.

Part mystery, part ghost story, part riveting historical fiction, The Dark ushers the reader into the shadowy border between longing and belief as it unfolds the incredible story of the famous and controversial Fox Sisters, Maggie, Katie, and Leah. In their heyday, the sisters purported to communicate with ghosts and inspired the Spiritualist Movement, a quasi-religion complete with mediums and séances and millions of followers.

Now only Maggie is left alive, and Mrs Mellon is her lifeline to the world. Soon, with Mrs Mellon’s gentle prompting, the wry, black-witted, ever-ambivalent Maggie is revealing her family’s secrets. But is Mrs. Mellon her confessor, her saviour, her interrogator -- or the last person upon whom Maggie is working her finely honed art?

 

About Claire Mulligan

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CLAIRE MULLIGAN's first work of historical fiction, The Reckoning of Boston Jim, was nominated for the 2007 Giller Prize as well as the Ethel Wilson Award. Claire was born and raised in British Columbia and graduated from UBC in 1995. She currently lives in Pennsylvania with her husband and three young children.
 
Published May 21, 2013 by Doubleday Canada. 528 pages
Genres: Literature & Fiction. Fiction
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Critic reviews for The Dark
All: 2 | Positive: 2 | Negative: 0

National Post arts

Good
Reviewed by Sara O'Leary on May 24 2013

One of the dangers of historical fiction is falling for the seductive lure of gifting your characters with too much prescience...Mulligan, in the main, avoids this pitfall...

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National Post arts

Above average
Reviewed by Sara O'Leary on May 24 2013

Mulligan, in the main, avoids this pitfall, instead offering us the opportunity to experience spiritualism as a new and fascinating phenomena.

Read Full Review of The Dark | See more reviews from National Post arts

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