The Room Beyond
Book Review (The Room Beyond)
The Room Beyond by Stephanie Elmas is a ghost story. When Serena arrives in Marguerite Avenue to apply for a job. She is intrigued to seek out as she walks the road that next door to number 32 in number 36. Strangely, number 34 doesn’t appear to exist. A mere curiosity, perhaps?
Also, curiosity is that the job that Serena is seeking. She is applying to be the nanny, the companion. The teacher or maybe the partner in crime of beth who, Stephanie Elmas tells us, is simply four years old. This small girl is very odd. She has just about graduated from toddler status. However, throughout the story she appears to show the maturity, vocabulary, and sensibility of middle age, as well as precocious adulthood. Serena is intrigued from the beginning by the origins of this small girl, and she doesn’t believe everything she is told.
Beth’s apparent wisdom beyond her years could test some readers’ ability to suspend belief. However, there are rewards for people who do, because the room beyond becomes a fascinating read. Not least because Author Stephanie Elmas’s vogue is always lucid and clear, and however can give a telling flip of phrase. When books include a baby as a principal character. Writers tend to use the silent innocence as a vehicle for delivering statements that no-one else dares say or noting observations that the mere standard either miss or fear. Mercifully, Stephanie Elmas simply avoids over-using Beth’s kid status, although she remains greatly at the center of the developing story.
A time shift takes us back to 1892, to a time when number 34 Marguerite Avenue undoubtedly did exist. We tend to get to know the Whitestones and the Edens. Mrs. Hubbard who cooks and several other characters, Miranda, Lucinda, Tristan, and Alfonso included. Whose lives become intimately tangled. there’s intrigue in this street, where a lot of goes on behind the curtained windows.
Back in the present day Marguerite Avenue, Serena gets the live-in job offered by the Hartreve family. Therefore, enters the household to get to grasp little beth, whose hidden origins instantly interest the new nanny. Then there’s a discovery that Eva, a morose adolescent, knows a lot of about the toddler’s birth and is partly willing to speak. Eva’s revelations need to be significant. However, Serena takes them in her stride, a response we soon begin to associate with her. Eva is a strange, waif-like, nearly ghostly youngster. However, we rarely seem to get to understand her as she drifts in and out of the story.
The character of Serena, the contemporary storyteller, is intriguing. She’s an injured girl. She lost her folks in a road accident. She herself is scarred and harbors a morbid fear of glass. Even more intriguing about Serena is her rather unpredictable impetuosity. when she feels an urge, she gives its expression free reign and, throughout, she displays almost rampant sexuality that simply won’t give “no” as a solution. Serena meets a number of possible liaisons and, when the fancy takes her, liaises.
One specific encounter gives rise to one thing that develops like an obsession for Serena, who as a result becomes even more addicted to the non-existence of the house next door. who might have lived there, and for what reasons it might have been far from history? maybe it still exists. maybe we tend to just convince ourselves that it isn’t there. And if all of this can be not enough, we’ve got another character who paints black paintings that hang on a house filled with eccentrics!
Back at the end of the nineteenth century. There’s yet one more strange figure. Walter Balanchine is part tramp, half wizard, half psycho-analyst, half éminence-grise. He wanders in and out of the story, leaving enigma and mystery wherever he treads. Just like the present-day beth, he seems to appear whenever something more than the expected may transpire.
Overall, the room beyond is a satisfying, however un-demanding read. With numerous characters, 2 time periods and several settings. We may never expect to reach an end where all the ideas are figured out, all the loose ends engaged. Stephanie Elmas’s vogue remains a delight and so the text continually flows past and through its events with ease. However, by the end, for this to be fiction of its genre, there may be rather too little tension. Alongside deficient of interest to excite literary interest. however the room beyond will gift a noteworthy, engaging tale that’s well told.
Stephanie Elmas, herself, cites a debt to Mary Elizabeth Braddon, who wrote mysterious, eye-popping works that sent middle-class housewives flying to the bookshops. the room beyond hopes to emulate this success by presenting a brand new gothic Victorian sensation drama, however with the present-day entwined within. Via the character of Serena, Stephanie Elmas may perhaps have achieved her goal.
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