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Beyond the Lone Islands

Saturday, 21 March 2009

The Mysterious Heroine (Udolpho IV)

Remember Emily? In my last report from The Mysteries of Udolpho, she had temporarily left that gloomy castle; but, as I suspected, she soon had to go back. (She really did not have much say in the matter.)

However, I was still in for another surprise, since her second stay at Udolpho did not last nearly as long as I expected. Now the girl is rambling around in another castle (or chateau), which has its own share of dusty abandoned rooms, unexplained mysteries and possible ghosts - just with a different landscape scenery outside.

There are still a lot of secrets in the air, and loose ends to tie up, concerning Udolpho as well as the other place. Relationships are also a bit messed up at the moment. The real villains do not seem likely to better themselves; but who of the heroes that will turn out to be the most heroic appears less certain.

One thing that seriously annoys me as reader is that while I'm led round and round in the maze of dark corridors, galleries, halls and chambers in these moldy old castles and chateaus, Emily still does not let me into every nook and cranny of her thoughts. I know she saw something at Udolpho, quite early on, that she just shut up in her own mind, and never talks to anyone about. Not even to the reader who has faithfully stood by her for 550 pages now… She just shudders occasionally when she comes to think of it, but always shakes it off again without explanation. But is it even important? And will it ever be revealed?

There is only one way to know. About 115 pages left to read now…

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