Melmoth (MP3 CD)
If you are looking for a good contemporary novel with a touch of Gothic horror, then this book is for you. As in her first novel, The Essex Serpent, Perry's tale revolves around an old legend which seemingly comes to life. Helen's life is forever changed at a coffee shop in Prague, when her friend Karel hands her a mysterious bundle of papers. She is distressed to find him in a state of disarray and fear, but it is unclear why. He points to the papers as explanation. They contain his research: accounts of encounters with Melmoth, the Witness. Legend has it that Melmoth was condemned to wander the earth eternally and bear witness to mankind's worst atrocities. Sometimes she appears as a woman shrouded in flowing black cloth, or a shadow one catches out of the side of one's eye, or the feeling that one is being watched, or even just a prickling at the back of the neck. Helen soon begins to suspect that she is being stalked… either by Melmoth or perhaps by her own guilt. While enjoying Perry's masterful storytelling, I found myself contemplating the nature of one's conscience, and at times even wondered if Melmoth was watching me!— Sharon
November 2018 Indie Next List
“Melmoth is evocative and atmospheric, the perfect book for a chilly night and the turning of the seasons. Through diaries, letters, and narration, we are introduced to the legendary Melmoth, who is cursed to wander the world alone and watch humans destroy themselves over and over. This quintessential gothic tale is set against the vivid backdrop of winter in Prague and populated by fully realized supporting characters and a protagonist with a hell of a secret. Melmoth, eternal witness to humanity at both its most banal and its most depraved, will haunt me.”
— Chelsea Bauer, Union Avenue Books, Knoxville, TN
For centuries, the mysterious dark-robed figure has roamed the globe, searching for those whose complicity and cowardice have fed into the rapids of history's darkest waters--and now, in Sarah Perry's breathtaking follow-up to The Essex Serpent, it is heading in our direction.
It has been years since Helen Franklin left England. In Prague, working as a translator, she has found a home of sorts--or, at least, refuge. That changes when her friend Karel discovers a mysterious letter in the library, a strange confession and a curious warning that speaks of Melmoth the Witness, a dark legend found in obscure fairy tales and antique village lore. As such superstition has it, Melmoth travels through the ages, dooming those she persuades to join her to a damnation of timeless, itinerant solitude. To Helen it all seems the stuff of unenlightened fantasy.
But, unaware, as she wanders the cobblestone streets Helen is being watched. And then Karel disappears. . . .