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Ann Vallimaa Fear of commitment! Dec 02, PM Cathy I think I read this when it first came out but forgot how truly terrible it is. I love the fantastical aspect of it, but the structure was clunkywith I think I read this when it first came out but forgot how truly terrible it is.
I love the fantastical aspect of it, but the structure was clunky—with a large section in the middle devoted to a boring recitation of the history of the Mayfair witches—and sorely in need a of a good editor. I care so little about Rowan that I do not feel the least bit of curiosity about her future and will take a hard pass on reading the rest of the trilogy.
Rice is a gifted scenarist who sets the table for adult horror dripping with sensuality and dread, the type moviegoers had to imagine in the s with thrillers like Cat My witchathon concludes with The Witching Hour, the eleventh novel by Anne Rice. Rice is a gifted scenarist who sets the table for adult horror dripping with sensuality and dread, the type moviegoers had to imagine in the s with thrillers like Cat People or I Walked With a Zombie.
While her atmosphere is combustible, her storytelling skills are flaccid and I reached a point where I just wanted this to end. The novel gets off impressively. Chapters one through six alternate between three main characters and three citizens of New Orleans: a doctor, a priest and a woman who marries into a family owned funeral parlor.
These locals are traumatized by their experiences with Deirdre Mayfair, a woman in her late 40s and heir to a family fortune. Deirdre has existed in a catatonic state for thirty years since her child was taken away from her to be raised by a cousin in California.
Cared for by her sister Carlotta, Deirdre wastes away in a grand but decaying house on First Street, spook central for stories the nuns tell naughty children about witches in the Garden District. The doctor, the priest and the woman have at one time wanted to help cure Deirdre or reunite her with her daughter, but find the heir to the Mayfair fortune to be lost in her own world, as well as controlled not only by feared attorney Miss Carl, but a strange man that has been seen near her for years.
Lightner had proved an excellent listener, responding gently without ever interrupting, But the doctor did not feel better. In fact, he felt foolish when it was over. As he watched Lightner gather up the little tape recorder and put it in his briefcase, he had half a mind to ask for the tape. It was Lightner who broke the silence as he laid down several bills over the check. The words had been said with utter conviction. In fact, they had been spoken with such authority and assurance that the doctor believed them without doubt.
He studied Lightener in detail for the first time. The man was older than he seemed on first inspection. Perhaps sixty-five, even seventy. Carlotta Mayfair would never have allowed it. You ought to put the entire incident out of your mind.
Pulled from the bay and revived after drowning, the New Orleans native and restorer of old houses has discovered an unwanted talent for psychometry, picking up psychic visions off any object he touches. He compels his doctor to track down his rescuer, hoping he might have spoken about his vision to them. Rejecting a promising career in research, Rowan has found her calling in trauma surgery. Raised by wealthy adoptive parents in Tiburon and recently orphaned, she recharges her batteries after a fifteen-hour shift by taking her yacht, the Sweet Christine into Richardson Bay and then the open sea.
Rowan takes Michael to her home and in addition to vividly describing the mystique of New Orleans and San Francisco, Rice demonstrates her facility for writing hot sex. When he saw her breasts through the thin covering of nylon, he kissed them through the cloth, deliberately teasing himself, his tongue touching the dark circle of the nipple before he forced the cloth away.
What did it feel like, the black leather touching her skin, caressing her nipples? He lifted her breasts, kissing the hot curve of them underneath--he loved this particular juicy crevice--then he sucked the nipples hard, one after the other, rubbing and gathering the flesh feverishly with the palm of his hand. She was twisting under him, her body moving helplessly it seemed, her lips grazing his unevenly shaven chin, then all soft and sweet over his mouth, her hands slipping into his shirt and feeling his chest as if she loved the flatness of it.
She pinched his nipples as he suckled hers. He was so hard he was going to spill. He stopped, rose on his hands, and tried to catch his breath, then sank down next to her. He knew she was pulling off her jeans. He brought her close, feeling the smooth flesh of her back, then moving down to the curve of her soft clutchable and kneadable little bottom. In a rage of impatience he took off his glasses and shoved them on the bedside table.
He was on top of her. Her hand moved against his crotch, unzipped his pants, and brought out his sex, roughly, slapping it as if to test its hardness--a little gesture that almost brought him over the edge. He felt the prickly curling thatch of pubic hair, the heated inner lips, and finally the tight pulsing sheath itself as he entered.
I did mention that The Witching Hour is , words, so, if you like the supernatural and erotica, Anne Rice has more. A lot more. Michael feels pulled to his hometown and after picking up no clues from Rowan or her boat, believes the riddle behind his vision lies in the Big Easy. Michael has many memories of the city, particularly a house on First Street in the Garden District his mother would take him past on walks and where a strange man watched him from the porch.
Drunk, Michael heads straight for that house and sees the man again. He passes out. The Englishman attempted to make contact with Michael in San Francisco, intrigued by his psychometric talents, and is operating under the impression that Rowan Mayfair hired Michael to do some work for her in New Orleans.
Through much exposition, Lightner reveals that Rowan is heir to a vast family fortune here in the Crescent City and that house that Michael has been obsessed with--and everything in it--belongs to her. He convinces Michael to come with him to a motherhouse the Talamasca has in Metairie, where he is given a file to read on the Mayfair Witches.
Back in San Francisco, Rowan is awakened by a presence. She finds a man standing on the dock who dims away. In the morning, Rowan receives a call from Carlotta Mayfair.
She warns Rowan to avoid New Orleans at all costs. The doctor ignores her. Michael makes progress on the file of the Mayfair Witches, which goes back twelve generations and spans Scotland, France and New Orleans in an orgy of persecution, personal fortune, and madness, with "that man," who goes by the name Lasher, waiting in the wings. Though Deirdre has slumbered in a twilight induced by drugs all of her adult life, there have been countless sightings by those around her of "a mysterious brown-haired man.
Now I know I saw that. Black orderlies in various hospitals saw "that man all the time. I know him when I see him. I see spirits. I call them up. There are the same old stories. Rather than ride a marketable genre to its obvious and boring conclusions, Rice paints vivid pictures of places and people. She knows cities. She knows Catholicism. In another excellent stroke, Rice stumbles onto the conceit of renovating a haunted house, confident enough to cite novels about great houses like Great Expectations or Rebecca by name and in addition to crafting home design porn that matches her skin porn, raises compelling questions about whether new tenants and new fixtures are enough to drive out bad energy hovering around an old house.
Rowan and Michael do spend a lot of time crying, but the machinery of their romance made me want to get back to the flesh and blood of the witches. And , words is too damn long.
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