Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Classic Gothic Tale with a New Twist: Dr. Frankenstein's Daughters

Dr. Frankenstein's Daughters
by Suzanne Weyn
Scholastic
2013
250 pages

Twins Giselle and Ingrid discover that they are heirs to a fortune--their mad father, Dr. Frankenstein was so tormented, he shunned his famly and friends--dying alone but leaving the girls a castle on a small island and a large inheritance. The girls travel to the island north of Scotland, seeing their inheritance for the first time. They stand aghast at the condition of the castle. It has fallen to ruin, but Giselle intends to bring it back to its formal glory. Ingrid--always the scientific one--discovers her father's journals dating back to his early university years. She reads one after another--obsessed with knowing more about her father's work and his state of mind.

Ingrid is attracted to their eccentric reclusive sickly neighbor, too, and Giselle worries about their strange friendship. Ingrid thirsts for knowledge and for education, but being a product of her times (1815)...when women did not go to university...she has to sneak around and disguise herself as a man in order to attend anatomy lectures. Her friend Anthony "borrows" an anatomy book for her to study.

The castle hides secrets and Ingrid finds the key to her father's laboratory. What will Ingrid do in the name of love? Where is the monster that her father created and then spent his life escaping? What dark secrets does Giselle herself hide?

Fans will love this Gothic horror/love story. I was rooting for sister Giselle and disturbed by Ingrid. Plot twists then had me thinking differently.

Suzanne Weyn is a masterful storyteller who handles an old story with ease. The plot is told from each twin's viewpoint as each sister writes her diary entries. The cover has Gothic appeal and will have teens clamoring for their own copy.

Highly, highly recommended grade 7-up. No language. Romance, a few kisses, gruesome laboratory.

FTC Required Disclaimer: I purchased this book for my library from the Scholastic Book Fair. This title is on middle school book fairs. I did not receive monetary compensation for this review.



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