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Jac L'Etoile, the mythologist and television host who starred in The Book of Lost Fragrances (2012), returns in a book that is pretty much the same as that one. Like Fragrances, this novel involves a lost item from history (here it's a supposedly lost transcription of a conversation the French author Victor Hugo had, during a seance, with someone from beyond the grave). It also, like its predecessor, involves a present-day mystery linked to the historical item (in this case, a man's wife died in a manner much the same as that of Victor Hugo's daughter, whose death spurred him to try seances in the first place). But does the fact that the two books are very similar mean this one is bad? Not at all. What sells the book what sells all of Rose's books is not the characters or the plots; it's the author's boundless enthusiasm for the material. She believes passionately in her characters and their stories, and we can't help getting caught up in that enthusiasm. We care about Jac, despite her being not particularly well drawn (she's more a series of brushstrokes than a real person), because Rose cares about her so deeply; we care about what happens to Jac when she travels to the British island of Jersey and discovers she's been lured there under false (and mysterious) pretenses, because Rose does. Rose's growing fan base will probably devour this one.--Pitt, David Copyright 2010 Booklist
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The 1843 drowning death of Victor Hugo's beloved eldest daughter, Didine, provides the catalyst for Rose's well-crafted paranormal novel of suspense, a sequel to The Book of Lost Fragrances (2012). In 1855, Hugo, who has exiled himself to the island of Jersey, agrees to a playwright friend's suggestion that he attempt to communicate with Didine's spirit at a seance. The effort to establish contact from beyond the grave succeeds, but as the novelist notes, in so doing he gave the devil "access to my very soul." Meanwhile, in the present, Jac L'Etoile, the protagonist of The Book of Lost Fragrances, arrives on Jersey to investigate a discovery in her area of expertise-Druid mythology. That discovery stems from a document Hugo wrote, linking the two narratives. Rose is especially good at recreating Hugo's despair and willingness to do anything to reunite with Didine, making his abandonment of rationality all too plausible. Agent: Dan Conaway, Writers House. (May) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
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Jac L'Etoile is a mythologist by trade and perfumer by pedigree. Heir to the legendary House of L'Etoile perfume company, Jac has been dodging her painful past for years. In this sequel to The Book of Lost Fragrances, Rose's time-shifting narrative recounts French novelist Victor Hugo's exile on the Isle of Jersey and his participation in hundreds of seances. In the present day, Jac is lured by the island's Celtic history and becomes enmeshed in a family drama that seems to stem back to ancient times. Treated by Jungian therapists since adolescence and well versed in their collective unconsciousness theories, Jac begins to accept that the hallucinations plaguing her may be memories of past lives. VERDICT Jac instinctively identifies her environment through its constituent scents; this results in a luxurious, sensual experience for the reader. Full of well-researched history, the paranormal, and modern intrigue, this atmospheric tale of suspense is fully engrossing to those willing to suspend their disbelief. [See Prepub Alert, 11/12/12.]-Laura Cifelli, Ft. Myers-Lee Cty. P.L., FL (c) Copyright 2013. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.