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The Novels of Carol Goodman
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Below are the 20 most recent journal entries recorded in The Novels of Carol Goodman: Cor Te Reducit's LiveJournal:

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Sunday, December 6th, 2009
3:39 pm
New Carol Goodman: ARCADIA FALLS

Synopsis: For two hundred years, painters, poets and musicians have come to the Catskill Mountain village of Arcadia Falls to escape the pressures of modern life and pursue their artistic visions, and Arcadia College was founded with a mission to nurture young artists and writers. When Meg Rosenthal gets an offer to teach at Arcadia College, it seems a godsend - an escape from a life that's fallen apart. She hopes, too, that Arcadia Falls will be a place where she and her daughter Sally can find some peace and reconciliation. But even though Arcadia Falls proves to be even more beautiful then Meg imagined, it is hardly peaceful. Soon she begins to realize that the public story behind the school conceals deceit, betrayal, and perhaps even murder. As Meg struggles to reconcile the choices she's made in her own life, she begins to fear that by coming to Arcadia Falls she's put herself and her daughter in danger.

Thoughts: OK, it sounds like a revisit of the locale of GHOST ORCHID with the general drive of LAKE OF DEAD LANGUAGES. Not exactly breaking new ground here, but if she can give us a mystery that's pretty much unguessable I'll be happy enough.
Friday, August 8th, 2008
1:54 pm
New Goodman Book Out this Month
Who's got their copy of THE NIGHT VILLA?

I pre-ordered mine from Amazon.com back in the spring, but so far I've had no notice of their shipping it :( Good news is that one reviewer's stated it's "replaced THE DROWNING TREE" as his/her previous Goodman favourite.

Actually looking forward to this one - please let it make up for THE SONNET LOVER...
Sunday, May 25th, 2008
7:27 pm
Official Carol Goodman Website
Finally, someone's figured out that Goodman deserves her own website!


It's not as stuffed-to-bursting as we might wish, but it DOES have an interesting "Essays" section (under the "About the Author" section) which gives us information on the genesis of LAKE, SEDUCTION and the influence of the Classics on her Muse. I recommend it - check it out!

Also, though she was a poet for the first twenty-odd years of her writing career, she didn't start writing LAKE until she was thirty-five. I love late-in-life success stories; for some strange reason, they make me feel far better than all the wunderkind narratives in the world ;)
Saturday, March 1st, 2008
11:00 pm
Carol Goodman's next - coming in either April or August
... Will be called THE NIGHT VILLA, and here's the synopsis from Amazon.co.uk:

Recovering from a shocking act of violence, Coraline Chase, classicist and mythographer, decides that taking part in The Papyrus Project, which aims to restore the charred scrolls of Pompeii, might offer her a much needed escape. On site though, Coraline begins to suspect that the Modern Pythagoreans, a revival of an ancient cult, are also interested in the Papyrus Project. The cult believe that a lost manuscript of the philosopher and mathematician Pythagoras may have survived the eruption of Mount Vesuvius. Soon Coraline finds herself following a trail that leads her through Southern Italy, Sicily and to the island of Samos, Pythagoras's birthplace. Against the backdrop of the Bay of Naples, Cory begins to feel she is being pulled into an underworld of conspiracy to reignite an ancient cult that once rivalled Christianity in the Roman World.

Religious cults? I am consumed with curiosity as to how the theories of Pythagoras could be incorporated into a cult. I mean, how would the services go?

MINISTER: "The square on the hypotenuse is equal to the sum of the squares on the other two sides".
CONGREGATION: This is terribly clever.
MINISTER: Not that we have much use for this in daily life, mind you.
CONGREGATION: But it is good to know.

I'm being facetious, of course - a quick look at Pythagoras' Wikipedia entry is actually quite interesting, speaking as someone whose knowledge of the man begins and ends with the Disney short DONALD DUCK IN MATH-MAGIC LAND.

So, anyway, let's hope THE NIGHT VILLA's more satisfying than THE SONNET LOVER. And - talking of THE SONNET LOVER - remember that Goodman did originally intend to call her heroine "Rose Blum" but, upon being told to lose the pun, called her "Rose Asher" instead? It just occurred to me that maybe "Rose Asher" was a pun, too... on this. Hmmm.
Sunday, August 5th, 2007
2:09 pm
My problems with THE SONNET LOVER
I'll cut & paste the list of gripes I posted on the Amazon.com forum for TSL, about 11 days ago. PLEASE don't read this unless you've read the book!!!

Thursday, July 12th, 2007
8:20 pm
First brief response to THE SONNET LOVER
... WHAT?

I should LOVE this book. It presses so many of my buttons (Italy! Shakespeare! Harold Acton! Big Literary Mystery Unravelled Piece By Piece!) that my falling in love with it should really be inevitable.

But... NO. I can't accept the denouement. HELL NO. PEOPLE DON'T BEHAVE THAT WAY.

If anyone reading this has already read THE SONNET LOVER feels the same way, for the love of Heaven please reply below! I'm scanning through the reviews - they're mostly glowing - and wondering if these reviewers read the same book I did.

More detailed review to follow later...
Monday, July 2nd, 2007
10:47 pm
THE SONNET LOVER! Who's read it? Any verdicts?
It's been out three weeks already, and I'm still drumming my fingers and waiting for my hb copy to arrive from the States :(

Who's read it? What did you think?

EDIT! First chapter available online, click here!
Friday, April 6th, 2007
10:20 am
Audio interview with Carol!
Check out this link! Carol promotes THE GHOST ORCHID and talks about her creative process, previous work and apprenticeship through her two unpublished novels:


Not only is this a conversation well worth listening to, but Carol's blessed with a very pleasant voice.
Saturday, March 24th, 2007
8:53 pm
Hooray! THE SONNET LOVER synopsis!
Checking the Amazon page, here's the updated synopsis - and thankfully, the heroine is no longer "Rose Blum"!

From Publishers Weekly

Goodman (The Ghost Orchid) turns to Shakespeare for the plot of her fifth novel, with mixed results. Rose Asher, Hudson College Renaissance poetry professor, returns to La Civetta, the Italian estate-turned-academic retreat where, as a college student 20 years earlier, she had the romance of her life with married professor Bruno Brunelli. He's still there, but this time Rose has come as an adviser on a film inspired by Shakespeare's sonnets and the mysterious "Dark Lady" therein. The script, which includes an unattributed Shakespeare-like sonnet (taken from a manuscript found at La Civetta), is by one of Rose's star pupils, Robin Weiss, who soon dies in a possibly suicidal accident. The manuscript has vanished, but the sonnet seems to suggest that Ginevra de Laura, the 16th-century daughter of a master mosaic artist who worked at the estate, may be its author—and Shakespeare's Dark Lady. Multiple plots and subplots revolve around the manuscript's recovery, Robin's death, the film, Rose's clandestine relationship with college president Mark Abrams, Bruno's presence and worries that Bruno's son, Orlando, may be a murderer. Goodman makes a plausible fictional case for Ginevra's crossing paths with Shakespeare and ably recreates the present and past Italian countryside. Nevertheless, dizzying crisscrosses, love triangles and rampant political machinations surrounding La Civetta's ownership obscure an intriguing solution to the lingering Dark Lady mystery.

I know we've seen a LOT of this before - academic retreat, mystery from the past impinging on the present, sonnets sonnets sonnets - but I'm hoping this is the mix which will get a TV/film treatment. Goodman deserves one by now, and the Shakespeare connection might push her stuff over into "marketability".

Also, I would love to see how she describes the Italian countryside.

Who else is psyched?
Sunday, February 4th, 2007
12:10 pm
Tuesday, December 26th, 2006
11:33 am
Title of Goodman's next work: THE SONNET LOVER
Click here!

My first reaction was "Hmm. Not great, but not actively awful either." Still, Goodman does sometimes change her titles later on (SEDUCTION OF WATER was originally HOTEL EQUINOX, and THE GHOST ORCHID started life as BLACKWELL) so I suppose we'll have to wait and see. Happy holidays, everyone!

[ETA] P.S. D'oh! Just remembered, anomali posted earlier on this group about this novel's original title being VILLA OF THE MYSTERIES. I suppose that means THE SONNET LOVER is the confirmed title. (Really hope the heroine's name still isn't "Rose Blum"...)
Saturday, September 30th, 2006
2:43 pm
Salve and welcome to THE LAKE OF DEAD LANGUAGES Reading Group! This will just be a bit of close reading for those who've enjoyed the novel and want to discuss it in a little more depth. Basically, the plan is this:

1) I start off with comments on the first three chapters
2) Comment with your own insights or corrections if you wish
3) If you want to take the next three chapters, just say so, otherwise I'll carry on with the next three next week
4) Lather, rinse, repeat until done

I should also warn you, before I begin, that I am not a Classicist: I never learned Latin or Greek at school, and the few Classical works with which I'm familiar were gobbled up long ago in English translation. Therefore I am working with the slight suspicion that Goodman's slipped in sly Classical puns or references here or there, nods to antiquity which fly right over my ignorant head :) If there are Classicists reading who'd like to contribute their knowledge to the discussion, please do! We would love that!

Here we go! The Prologue, and Chapters 1 & 2Collapse )

Well, I'm done. Would anyone like to go next?
Sunday, July 23rd, 2006
9:41 am
Question for everyone on this group
Would anyone be interested in either a "book club discussion" (in which someone posts up a question or two from reading guides, and we discuss them) or in a chapter-by-chapter analysis of a particular book? In the chapter-by-chapter analysis we'd be taking each chapter and pointing out the good and not-so-good elements within it.

Anyone interested in either, and if so, with which book shall we start?
Sunday, March 26th, 2006
11:30 am
The next book and more
Here is what Carol has to say about what to expect from her in the near future and a little insight into one of her characters:

"I’m working on a novel called Villa of the Mysteries. It’s about a Renaissance Sonnet scholar, Rose Blum, who discovers a series of love sonnets by a Italian woman poet of the sixteenth century who may, or may not, have been writing her poems to William Shakespeare. It starts in Manhattan, at a fictitious college called Hudson College, and then moves to a villa outside of Florence, where ... [drum roll, please] the past threatens to impinge upon the present! The poems are all written by my favorite sonneteer, Zalman Bronsky, aka Lee Slonimsky."

I am currently finishing "The Ghost Orchid" and I wanted to ask if anyone of the rest of you see a similarity between the depiction of Bethesda and the author Donna Tartt? (If you haven't read her "Secret History", I cannot recommend it highly enough, particularly to those who enjoy Carol Goodman's books.)

Current Mood: curious
Saturday, February 25th, 2006
2:40 pm
Having ordered it in from amazon.com, I was able to read it about a week ahead of its official British release. If you would like a spoiler-free review, I'll just say that Goodman has lost none of her facility for prose-writing, creating beautiful visuals or for weaving a many-stranded and layered plot. I was, however, slightly disappointed by some of the characterization and action in this one. It's not really a "dip" in quality, but it's not the progression from THE DROWNING TREE I'd been hoping for. Maybe the next one will be "the One", the one where she breaks into the public consciousness, achieves the household-name status she deserves and allows all of us the chance to say "Na-ha, we knew it all along." THE GHOST ORCHID isn't "the One", but if you want a fix of gorgeous writing and imagery, go for it. Just be prepared for some supernatural elements along the way.

Now here comes the SPOILERY review, for those who have read the book and would like to discuss it on this community. It will be hidden behind a lj-cut and dotted red line, beyond which you should not trespass. If you do, you'll have major elements of the plot and ending SPOILED for you! Enter at your own risk!

Tuesday, January 31st, 2006
12:02 am
THE GHOST ORCHID released today!!

You lucky Americans, you get it six weeks before we Brits do!

Please post your reviews here once you've finished, I'd love to see whether it continues the trend of Goodman's improving with each book...
Tuesday, August 16th, 2005
9:42 pm
Monday, July 11th, 2005
3:49 pm
News about BLACKWELL!

If that link doesn't work, go to www.amazon.co.uk and you'll see that BLACKWELL is now renamed THE GHOST ORCHID and will be released in the UK on March 2, 2006.

First thoughts: WAAAAH! ANOTHER NINE MONTHS OF WAITING?! I was looking forward to that more than the new Harry Potter!

Second thoughts: Pity about the lack of water metaphors in the new title! BLACKWELL at least had the virtue of conjuring up a, erm, black well, and the heroine's name "Ellis Brooks" also looked promising.
Wednesday, July 6th, 2005
6:18 pm
I just finished reading 'The Lake of Dead Languages.' What an amazing book!
I had never read any book of Carol Goodman nor had I heard of her. I found the book a little while ago in the two dollar-section of a little book store. The title immediately attracted me to the book and i ended up buying it!
Saturday, June 11th, 2005
8:34 pm
Small question...
Why do you think Goodman's second book was called THE SEDUCTION OF WATER?

I ask, because it would appear from the preview in LAKE that the original title would have been HOTEL EQUINOX. Think it was her publisher putting pressure on her to use "water metaphors" in her titles? (For instance, Poppy Z. Brite wanted to call her second novel BIRDLAND, but her publishers wanted to keep the "vampire fan" audience garnered by LOST SOULS and demanded a more "horrific" title; thus BIRDLAND was changed to DRAWING BLOOD.)

Does THE SEDUCTION OF WATER suit the novel, do you think? I ask because I think THE SELKIE'S SONG would have been more suitable ;-)
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