Quote: ‘And you see, for our generation, life is not going to be a summer holiday. What we’ve got to find out is whether we shall want one another when things are frightening and terrible.’

Image result for the unforeseen dorothy macardleFor twenty four hours yesterday, I was engrossed in Macardle’s supernatural story set in the scenic Wicklow Mountains. I just had to finish it.

Set in 1938, Virgilia Wilde is a doting mother who worries about her daughter. She also receives sudden snapshot glimpses of a future yet to come. When these visions take on a more sinister twist, she must decide if  she can prevent them from happening or just helplessly look on.

Like a true master, Macardle’s poetic prose creates true beauty only to gently slip in a foreboding sense of unease as the plot develops. For a haunting page-turner about how we try to look after the ones we love most, look no further.

Notes:

  • Image result for dorothy macardleDorothy Macardle has previously been held up as “Ireland’s answer to Shirley Jackson.” Having recently read The Haunting of Hill House and We Have Always Lived In The Castle,  I can see where the similarities lie. Good horror fiction for me, cleverly rides the boundary line between the possible and the impossible.
  • Dorothy Macardle biography is worth reading alone. She was a novelist, playwright, journalist, historian and lecturer. She was also imprisoned during the Irish Civil War.
  • The Unforeseen was first published by Doubleday & Company in 1945. Like many others, I would not have encountered this novel were it not for the brilliant ‘Recovered Voices‘ series devised by independent publishers Tramp Press.
  • It is incredible to think about all the literary works that are constantly being lost to the annals of time and so the publisher must be greatly applauded for resurrecting works like The Unforeseen which still read very well today.
  • Reading this book reminded me of how being immersed in nature can have such a calming effect on the soul. Macardle’s descriptive writing is amazing.