This is a terrific book inspired by Mary Shelley’s gothic story. It begins in Victorian England and is narrated by Maggie the daughter of a Frankenstein obsessive Captain Robert Walton who has dedicated his entire life to tracking down the iconic monster created by Victor Frankenstein. Already this obsession has cost Maggie and her family dear – and now her father is staking all on one final voyage to the Arctic in search of the elusive monster that he considers his destiny.
Unbeknown to her father however, Maggie, accompanied by her pet mouse Victor, boards the ship, a whaler named Moby Dick.
It’s not long however before the girl is discovered by the Captain Ishmael but instead of throwing her off, he makes a pact with Maggie: “Between you and me we will see Captain Walton through the storm and bring him back to safe harbour once more.”
The journey takes them to the icy Arctic Tundra where a horrific revelation is made, then to New York, which couldn’t be more different, and for Maggie, separated from her father, on through America towards Canada. It’s a journey of adventures, terrors, of monsters and heroes and Maggie is a strong character, caring, kind and prepared to take enormous risks for those she loves.
Once again Catherine Bruton has created a gripping story with superb descriptions of the various landscapes but fundamentally this tale is about love, family, loyalty and friendship, accepting difference and looking for what’s good. It will enthral readers and listeners keeping them on the edge of their seats until the final page: unable to put it down, I read the book in a single sitting.
In a word – brilliant!