The Dark Descent of Elizabeth Frankenstein by Kiersten White

The Dark Descent of Elizabeth Frankenstein - Kiersten White

 

I am on such a roll of 4 and 5 star reads and I hope this momentum keeps up! I loved this story SO much. When I read Frankenstein on audio a little while back (you can see my not so glowing review here), I was continually surprised and annoyed by Victor Frankenstein and his man-baby ways. He was so brilliant yet also so pathetic and ill equipped to handle disappointment and frustration. How could any woman seriously fall in love with such a silly fool? His reactions were over the top and felt ridiculous to me but after reading this book it all begins to make a lot more sense. This is the story of Elizabeth Frankenstein, the one and only person Victor ever loved, and it is spectacular.

Elizabeth was taken away from an abusive situation by the Frankenstein’s to befriend their son Victor who had maybe done something terrible to a deceased sibling. It is never talked about but it’s easy to read between the lines here. Victor was never quite right, even as a child. When he and Elizabeth meet she instantly has his number and is just as wily (maybe more so) and brilliant as Victor. She realizes right away that if she doesn’t befriend Victor and make him like her she’ll be tossed back out like garbage and forced to fend for herself and suffer further abuse. She spends her childhood managing his moods and his penchant for odd behavior and she is the only one with the ability to calm and distract him from his worst instincts. They quickly become inseparable. She loves him and he loves her but it’s a strange co-dependent sort of love. And it fascinated me.

“I had no tiny fragile hearts to give him as an offering. Only my own.”

I don’t want to give anything away. I’ll only say that if you read Frankenstein and felt a little bit of what I did for Victor (annoyed, frustrated maybe a wee bit crazed) I think you are going to enjoy reading Elizabeth’s story. Her love for Victor is complicated and 100% understandable and the book pulls no punches with its darkness and its ruthlessness and its heartbreaking and devastating turns and it stays very true to the source material from what I can remember. It’s a brilliant story of survival and self-preservation and I can’t recommend it highly enough.