by Gregory Frost
Category: Fiction / Fantasy
400 pages; ISBN: 0765301946
Rating: 9/10 (Ratings explained)
Reviewer: Harriet Klausner
On his estate near Jekyll’s Glen, New York, Reverend Elias Fitcher and his flock await the end of the world here in our Lord 1843. Elias and his faithful work and pray knowing that he will lead the way through the gate of Heaven when Revelations begins. Elias casts a spell on many of the local residents who become firm believers in his end of the world pitch. This includes the Charter family, at least the parents, who moved from Boston after the financial collapse of the Panic of 1837.
Elias decides that when he enters Heaven, he will have a wife with him. He chooses the oldest of the three Charter sisters, Vernelia as his spouse. She quickly realizes that her husband is not a messenger of God, but more likely the Angel of Death as she hears rumors of vanished wives and followers. Vern wonders how she will survive and if not will her middle sibling Amy and then her youngest sister Kate be the next two brides.
FITCHER’S BRIDE is a tremendous retelling of the Bluebeard legend that catches the key warning themes. Especially embedded into the powerful plot due to a robust cast are that of the dangers of total faith in a person or institution without questioning, and the underside perils of lust, avarice and curiosity killing the cat (Fitcher insured satisfaction didn’t bring them back). The novel contains a strong introduction that explains the Bluebeard saga, but though well written is not necessary for a reader to peruse if they just want the entertainment from a tremendous adult fairy tale.
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