Well second full day of the holiday and I’ve just finished one of the books on my list. Carmilla was an interesting read in that I can’t quite decide what my overall opinion of the book is.
Well written and easy to read quickly, it was interesting to read a vampire book that not only predates Dracula but also looks at a non-heterosexual relationship – something I find a lot of authors struggle to do unless they themselves have questioned their sexual identity.
A brief summary –
The narrator, Laura, tells of being a young girl living in a castle with her father somewhere in Styria who is looking forward to a visit from one of her father’s friends. With this friend is some company for Laura who lacks a companion of her own age. Instead, this visit does not happen but through circumstances they are introduced to another young girl, Carmilla. Carmilla is a very secretive and charming young lady, who both attracts and repulses our heroine. As the story continues, a sickness affects a lot of the young females in the village and soon Laura also becomes ill. Throughout this part of the story, you are left wondering will Laura survive or will she become just another victim?
Being written in 1872, the idea that both Laura and Carmilla may end up being lovers is subtly suggested. That being said, it was probably very shocking for the readers of the time! I think this is one of the values that drew me to the novella. Unsure how it would be portrayed in a 19th Century piece of work, I was intrigued to discover just how obvious the underlying concern is. In answer to this, it’s not as obvious as we would expect in our modern time. However, what I liked was there didn’t seem to be any overwhelming concern from Laura that she may not be what people considered “normal”. Although she was “repulsed” by the thought of it, she did nothing to dissuade Carmilla’s advances.
All in all, it was a pleasant read for by the pool. What’s next? Grey? Mom Con? Who knows! But now it’s time for a post lunch swim.
Have a nice day whatever you may be doing! And remember to watch Carmilla on YouTube tonight!
Thanks for reading
A view from my sun lounger