1814: Mary Godwin, the sixteen-year-old daughter of radical socialist and feminist writers, runs away with a dangerously charming young poet – Percy Bysshe Shelley. From there, the two young lovers travel a Europe in the throes of revolutionary change, through high and low society, tragedy and passion, where they will be drawn into the orbit of the mad and bad Lord Byron.
But Mary and Percy are not alone: they bring Jane, Mary’s young step-sister. And she knows the biggest secrets of them all…
I honestly don’t know how best to review this. I’m not a great fan of historical fiction, but learning more about Mary Shelley was interesting. And I think that’s all I can really say about the book. It is interesting. I didn’t dislike it, I just didn’t like it either.
It’s also hard to tell fact from fiction in this, but I found all the characters unlikable to be honest. And the thing about historical fiction that annoys me is the culture in society against (or for) certain things, the way people behave. In this case simultaneously Mary cheating with Shelley, and society’s response to it. And then all of Shelley’s behaviour. I can’t help but wonder if he was truly polyamorous or if he was just a cheat. I say this more based on his first wife than his relationship with Mary and Claire, but honestly I read him more as someone who wanted multiple relationships but not the responsibility that comes with that and certainly not the openness and honesty it should entail.
Well written, but very much not for me, I’m afraid.
Buy Monsters from Amazon UK.