My husband picked out The Gargoyle by Andrew Davidson for me at our local library. The only reason the book caught his eye was that I’m a big fan of gargoyles (and grotesques) so he thought I might enjoy it. I picked it up and almost put it down again because it was a love story. And I don’t usually read romances.
Yet the word ‘gargoyle’ is compelling to me so I checked it out anyway.
I got home and gave myself a deadline of 2 chapters. That way I could l tell my husband ‘thank you very much but the book isn’t really me’ without feeling a drop of guilt.
I was hooked on the first page.
Gargoyle isn’t your normal love story. It’s written in the first person by a man whose name you never learn and it begins with a drug-fuelled car crash.
Whilst our narrator is in hospital recovering from horrific burns a young lady by the name of Marianne Engel visits him, from the psychiatric ward he presumes. Marianne is a tattooed, eccentric gargoyle sculptor who tells him the most fantastical stories of a love affair that spans lifetimes and countries.
The man slowly and painfully begins to heal, although forever scarred. Marianne is his only constant visitor and he soon learns she has been searching for him. She believes she was a medieval nun who fell in love with him in a previous life of his. They married, she became pregnant then tragedy struck.
Her storytelling, of stories within stories, and the way in which she views the world becomes addictive for the narrator and when he is finally released from hospital he moves in with Marianne.
I won’t tell you anymore of the book. It’s a love story for people who ‘don’t do romance’. It keeps you guessing throughout and you can’t help but to fall a little in love with Marianne yourself.