Wednesday, 11 December 2019

Cassandra Darke

'Tis the season to be reading (fa lala, lala..) For tonight's Christmastime reading suggestion, Cassandra Darke by Posy Simmonds. My happy discovery from last year's Christmas reads. Apparently, it is a very freely adapted adaptation of Dicken's Christmas Carol. I must confess, while I did see a good bit of Scrooge in the main character, the parallels between the two works are not that obvious. This graphic novel (with emphasis on the novel bit, as there is a lot of text) stands on its own and the Dickensian source material is more easily identifiable when you read it a second time. But I digress. The action is set from one Christmas season to another. Title characer Cassandra Darke is an elderly art dealer, mean, ugly, selfish, arrogant, wealthy, utterly despicable. She loses her reputation and part of her fortune when she is recognised guilty of fraud. A year later, things go from bad to worse when she finds a gun in the basement where her ex lodger Nicki (who is also the daughter of Cassandra's stepsister and her ex-husband). This is a thriller with brains and heart, it is also a moral tale and a bit of a tragedy, with a protagonist who is not devoid of redeeming qualities... which might not be enough to save her soul, or her life.

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