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Nurse at the Castle [Joanne Holden, 1965]
The cover art is good.

Mixed thoughts on the story itself. It's well crafted. Characters are strong. Nurse Nancy Bronson is enjoyable.

I don't understand how it rates as a "Gothic," however. Barclay Manor is well-polished, modern, opulent. The story focuses more on interpersonal/social difficulties -- particularly as regards romantic rivals -- than anything else. :-\ The romances blow up far too fast; there are two serious marriage proposals which occur within the space of a few weeks[?!]. The basic mood of the novel is catiness (a serious negative with me). The women in the story just don't like each other, with the exception of Lavinia Barclay (the elderly millionaire widow) and Nurse Nancy.

The only "nod" to Gothic imo would be the unbelievable "sudden day out" Nurse Nancy has with Greg to the home of Washington Irving. Their being fans of Sleepy Hollow, site-seeing Irving's home and "the old Dutch Church" and nearby cemetery are the only spooky happenings. And of course there's Mrs. Barclay seemingly menaced by people who might profit from her placement in an institution. We are wondering throughout the novel if she's truly okay (aside from being manipulated and medicated) or if she is truly ill and an unpredictable danger. That element is left unknown until the end.

The mention of "loco weed" was funny. Big Grin

The author has a rich storytelling style. I just wish her focus would have been different. I couldn't hardly visualize the characters, except that Mrs. Barclay would be portrayed by Harriet MacGibbon (age 63), John Ferguson by Jack Nicholson (age 40), and Nurse Nancy by Barbara Feldon (age 27).

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Nurse at the Castle [Joanne Holden, 1965] - by Bellatrix - 07-02-2008, 11:48 AM

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