Book Review: Though provoking contemporary fiction meets Gothic horror in Sarah Perry’s hauntingly beautiful Melmoth

Twenty years ago, Helen Franklin did a terrible thing. Unable to forgive herself, she lives a life of self-imposed penance, scraping together a living as a translator in Prague and denying herself the simplest of pleasures. But when her friend Karel hands her a strange manuscript, detailing sightings of a tall woman in black haunting the background of human history’s darkest moments, Helen’s fragile balancing act comes under threat. Obsessed with the stories, and unable to shake the feeling that she might be on the haunting woman’s radar, Helen must face up to what she’s done, lest Melmoth emerges from the shadows and claims her as a companion.

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