Dark and Deepest Red is Anna-Marie McLemore’s latest magical realism novel.
In the Summer of 1518, a sickness sweeps through Strasbourg, one that makes men and women dance until they drop dead. It is rumored that witchcraft may be the cause and everyone is a suspect, especially Lavinia and her family, who have a secretive past.
Five centuries later, a pair of red shoes are stuff to Rosella Oliva’s, making her dance uncontrollably. They draw her to the boy, Emil, whose family was blamed for the sickness in 1518.
But the truth can be shadowed over time and together Rosella and Emil must uncover what really happened to Lavinia and Strabourg.
Dark and Deepest Red have all of McLemore’s signature writing style: magical realism that seems to seamlessly blend with the story, a LGBT bend, and prose that flows beautifully. And yet, this is probably my least favorite of her novels. I just couldn’t get into the story. Well, I did eventually but it took way more than half the book.
I didn’t feel as strongly for the characters as I normally do. I couldn’t quite make a connection with them. It was almost like, there wasn’t enough of them. I needed more of their stories, instead of the history.
I did like the tie in of the red shoes paired with the mysterious dancing plague of history. I thought this was pretty neat, especially after listening to the author’s notes.
This wasn’t a bad read, I enjoyed it for what it was. It just wasn’t my favorite. So I am giving this one 3 mediocre stars.
That’s all for now!