Winterwood by Dorothy Eden


Winterwood, Dorothy Eden, 1967

My favorite quote: “She had never felt so radiantly alive — nor so aware of potential danger and heartbreak.”

Notable characters: Lavinia, the beautiful, strong-willed, naive new governess; Daniel, the distant, broad-shouldered, square-jawed, brooding master of the house; Winterwood, the sprawling, mysterious manor that harbors more skeletons in one closet than most homes have in the whole house

Most memorable scene: Of Winterwood’s many memorable scenes, the opium poisoning situation stands out to me as the most unforgettable. Let it never be said that Dorothy Eden doesn’t like getting her hands dirty

Greatest strengths: The characters. I think that’s what really sets Dorothy Eden apart from her contemporaries. In a lot of old Gothic romances, the characters are just kind of … there. But Eden has a way of making her people pop a little more than most

Standout achievements: Dorothy Eden’s descriptions of Venice and Winterwood itself are sublime

Fun facts: This is the first Dorothy Eden book I ever read — and it made me want to keep reading her. Which I have. So stop nagging me about it. Jeez

Other media: N/A

What it taught me: There’s an effective device Dorothy Eden uses in this book that’s always stayed with me as a writer. Rather than having her main character, Lavinia, stand in front of a mirror and describe her own beauty to herself (because, seriously, who does that), Dorothy Eden sends Lavinia to an opera where she overhears a little girl exclaiming, “Look, Papa! Isn’t she beautiful!” So there. Now we know she’s beautiful without having to listen to her tell us she’s beautiful and making us hate her for being all, “Look how pretty I am, you guys!”

How it inspired me: I love old Gothic romances so much that I gave the same quality to Cade Colter, my main character in the Crimson Cove series. He, like me, harbors a love of what is widely considered a “feminine” genre. Unlike me, however, he’s a little embarrassed about it. Aside from that, Cade and I have little in common, but I wanted him to inherit his good taste in books from me (I mean, he DID spring forth from the loins of my own imagination — he ought to get something from me, right?)

Additional thoughts: People can say what they want about how predictable and formulaic Gothics are (and they kind of are) but Winterwood kept me guessing. I think this is one of the reasons why Dorothy Eden is one of the standout writers of the genre

Hit or miss: Hit

Haunt me: alistaircross.com

Read Winterwood

Published by Alistair Cross

Alistair Cross grew up on horror novels and scary movies, and by the age of eight, began writing his own stories. First published in 2012, he has since co-authored The Cliffhouse Haunting and Mother with Tamara Thorne and is working on several other projects. His debut solo novel, The Crimson Corset, was an Amazon bestseller. The Black Wasp, book 3 in The Vampires of Crimson Cove series is on its way. Find out more about him at: http://alistaircross.com ********************************************************************************************* In collaboration, Thorne and Cross are currently writing several novels, including the next volume in the continuing gothic series, The Ravencrest Saga. Their first novel, The Cliffhouse Haunting, was an immediate bestseller. Together, they hosted the horror-themed radio show Thorne & Cross: Haunted Nights LIVE! which featured such guests as Anne Rice of The Vampire Chronicles, Charlaine Harris of the Southern Vampire Mysteries and basis of the HBO series True Blood, Jeff Lindsay, author of the Dexter novels, Jay Bonansinga of The Walking Dead series, Laurell K. Hamilton of the Anita Blake novels, Peter Atkins, screenwriter of Hellraiser 2, 3, and 4, worldwide bestseller V.C. Andrews, Kim Harrison of the Hollows series, and New York Times best sellers Preston & Child, Christopher Rice, and Christopher Moore. ********************************************************************************************** Currently, Thorne & Cross are hosts of Thorne & Cross: Carnival Macabre, where listeners can discover all manner of demented delights, unearth terrifying treasures, and explore the dark side of the arts.

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