In the midst of this strange blizzard of 2021, I consumed this 1966 then 50 cent paperback Dark Shadows by Marilyn Ross.
Now, the spine has a number 6 on it, but it appears to be the first one as it is Victoria Winter’s arrival at Collinswood. And any fan of the original Dark Shadows television program will attest, there is no Dark Shadows without “My name is Victoria Winters” voiced over the crashing waves.
Despite the claim that the book is a gothic paperback, it’s a stereotypical romance novel. And while good old Barnabas is on the cover, he does not appear in the story.
The actual story features Victoria arriving at Collinsport and finding herself the object of attention for two suitors— the promising young lawyer and the “crazed” concert violinist in the Collins family.
The Gothic part stems from the ghost story within I suppose, layered with a bit of murder mystery, plus a lovely hint of Jane Eyre.
But don’t dismay— Victoria almost gets her happily ever after if the curse of the Collins family doesn’t get in the way.
The novel is extremely predictable and if the cover were red it could pose as a Harlequin. The writing is solid and the wording rich, though now at 50 years later some words have different meanings. For instance, “fantastic” referred more to a macabre surprise than something good. And “make out” kept its definition to “did everything go alright” which confused me for a moment because Victoria was kissing the man in question.
All in all, a quick fun little piece of fluff.