Victorian Life through a modern lens.
I recently read Diamonds and Dust by Carol Hedges and these are my thoughts on it:
The writing style I found more like an extended play script, yet it is not a play. I could easily imagine a narrator just off stage- perhaps in a box as would have been in a Victorian Music Hall or Variety Theatre – egging on the reader to interact, shout and bawl. The Victorian Melodrama isn’t left out either in this fast moving plot with quirky trips over Victorian bridges.
When I accepted the unusual style, I found the novel an engaging and entertaining read. I’ve read a number of paranormal novels recently -this doesn’t fit and yet the perpetrator is not normal either. Carol Hedges doesn’t leave aspects all to the imagination but she does leave the events blurred enough to make you wonder what isn’t told in the story.
I enjoyed secondary characters like Oi who made a tragic, and probably typically short, life seem very day to day; the character names imaginatively chosen. There are so many scenes, names and situations that are so familiar they have a ‘borrowed’ ticket on them, but they are skilfully woven into the refreshing style that is Diamonds and Dust.