Thread Rating:
  • 0 Vote(s) - 0 Average
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
Wait for what will come by Barbara Michaels
The book starts out with a common gothic romance setup: a girl is on her way to a new place to live. It's Carla Tregellas who inherited an old family mansion in Cornwall from a branch of the family she knew nothing about since it was her great-great-grandfather who had emigrated to the US. As the book is set in the present day (1980), her mode of transportation is plane, train and automobile. In the next chapter we learn how this all came about. It's interesting to reflect on the differences between Barbara Michaels and Victoria Holt in this instance. Victoria Holt writes in first person and our heroine would have told us about her childhood and the circumstances leading up to her leaving home. Barbara Michaels writes in third person and apparently adheres to the current adagium of "show, don't tell". The heroine, Carla, thinks back on her discussion with the lawyer who deals with the inheritance. The lawyer isn't important to the story at all, but we need him to let us know what he thinks of Carla, her looks and her manner of behaviour. Through the discussion we find out how Carla interacts with other people and I must say I wasn't impressed. I think she wasn't quite as polite as she should have been.
Carla arrives at the castle in a thunderstorm. She's soaked after getting her trunks out of the car onto the porch. A little old lady opens the door, the housekeeper Mrs. Pendennis, who has had the kettle on all afternoon waiting for Carla but doesn't offer her a towel with her tea. I know, nitpicking, but that's what I do when I start a new book. The storm is so bad the electricity fails so it's by candlelight that Carla is led to her room. So there's a lot of moodsetting going on through bad weather conditions. Other mystifying things are that the housekeeper was taken aback when seeing Carla's face and thinking she's Lady Caroline come back, the housemaid refuses to stay the night at the castle even though the storm is raging, and there is a portrait on the wall of Carla's room that the housekeeper feels shouldn't have been put there.
The next day the housekeeper explains the legend of Lady Caroline. Two hundred years ago she left a room on the eve of her wedding day, never to be seen again. The legend says every two hundred year a sea demon comes to claim a Tregellas woman and, how coincidentally, in a few weeks it's the anniversary of that event to the day, so Carla better leave before then. But Carla starts liking her newly acquired property better and better, also because on the same day she meets no less than three eligible young men who all seem to be attracted to her. So who will get the final rose? Wink

The author has a beautiful command of the language. She describes everything so well, and with a minimum of words, you have no problem seeing it all before you. I really appreciated details like that the house was facing east, having the cliff with the sea on the west where Carla's bedroom is. The house is portrayed great and I would have liked to read more about Carla's explorations indoors. I'm afraid I can't say the same for the description of the characters. None of them became really likeable. There's this theory I'm kind of formulating for myself about that it shows when an author loves her characters, be they evil or not. When she does, the reader can feel emotions about these persons. In this book about the only person I liked was the housemaid, who had the tiniest role of them all. I think Barbara Michaels was more concerned with the plot than with the people. So I really didn't care who the villain was, which was lucky for me, as I thought the end was contrived at best. The author could have given lots of hints along the way that could later be explained as being part of the villain's plot. I also didn't like the way the author used veiled terms whenever something scary and exciting happened. You needed to read on to find out what really had happened.

In another topic the question was asked if the book cover ever depicted a real situation in the book and in this one: Yes! The one thing off was that she wasn't wearing the blue cape, but the white dress was spot-on.

So I wasn't too excited about this book, which is a shame as I happen to have bought all Barbara Michaels' books. I'll plod through them, though, … some day.

My verdict: a 6 out of 10
I agree with you Charybdis...your review is spot on...especially I agree with you about the main character...that she was just not polite. My feeling about the lead character in a book is very important. i did not like Carla, and now that I am on my second Michaels book, I see that this may be a habit with her when creating her heroines...they seem to be irreverant, unlike-able "smart-asses" if you kwim? I mean, just because you are writing about modern day women does'nt mean that they have to be bitches.

I think I may retire my Barbara Michaels ambitions, but i will finish this current one in the meantime to make sure I'm not missing anything, lol!
Try House of Many Shadows, that one is probably her best Gothic. It's set in the modern era (1970s) but has a haunted house plot. Or Ammie, Come Home, another 1970's haunted house story. Wait For What Will Come was weak, but she can do better. Smile
thanks raremale...I won't give up on her.

Possibly Related Threads…
Thread Author Replies Views Last Post
  Someone in the House by Barbara Michaels Charybdis 1 9,405 04-26-2012, 07:26 PM
Last Post: romanticdress
  Ammie, Come Home by Barbara Michaels Charybdis 5 20,551 02-12-2012, 11:52 AM
Last Post: paigenumber
  Midnight is a Lonely Place by Barbara Erskine MysteryMind 3 12,138 02-20-2011, 03:56 PM
Last Post: sara
Sad Houses of Stone by Barbara Michaels Penfeather 4 17,283 09-20-2010, 09:19 PM
Last Post: Penfeather
  Kingdom of Shadows by Barbara Erskine MysteryMind 2 10,674 12-20-2009, 12:29 PM
Last Post: MysteryMind
Sad Shattered Silk by Barbara Michaels (1986) Desdemona 1 7,639 12-22-2008, 07:32 AM
Last Post: Monique Devereaux
  Hiding from the Light (2003) by Barbara Erskine Desdemona 3 12,616 12-03-2008, 03:40 PM
Last Post: random capitals
Smile Houses of Stone by Barbara Michaels (1993) Desdemona 10 29,465 08-31-2008, 03:25 PM
Last Post: Desdemona
  Black Rainbow by Barbara Michaels (2005) Desdemona 0 6,550 12-14-2007, 01:27 AM
Last Post: Desdemona

Forum Jump:

Users browsing this thread: 1 Guest(s)