Literary Aficionado’s Book Review of The Dazzling Darkness

Latest Review for The Dazzling Darkness at Literary Aficionado

‘Even the corpse has its own beauty’ – Emerson

Review by Grady Harp

“American author Paula Cappa deals with words. She has experience as a journalist for newspapers in New York and Connecticut, a freelance copywriter, editing health, business communications, magazines and news articles, newsletters and advertising copy, but her true love is writing both short stories and novels – that destination for words that satisfies her most. NIGHT SEA JOURNEY and met with considerable success. THE DAZZLING DARKNESS is her second novel and the winner of Gothic Readers Book Club Award for Outstanding Fiction. From reading both books it seems assured she has a secure future in her chosen field of paranormal mystery.

Cappa has that special gift of being able to make the supernatural natural, so polished is her prose and ability to string together ideas and development of same in a sustaining suspenseful manner. Even as she describes supernatural imagery her descriptive sense makes the quasi-visible visible. And that is a talent that will draw even those who are not keen on supernatural stories into her fold. Rather than repeat the fine synopsis of her story, allow the author to inform us of the background f this novel (from her website): `The Dazzling Darkness, a supernatural mystery set in Concord, Massachusetts, which is laced with 19-century transcendentalism, some people are curious to know how Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882) features in this present-day novel. Emerson, driven by his intense grief over his wife’s death, entered the family graveyard and opened Ellen’s coffin to view her body. It was only a year after her death. Twenty-five years later, he opened the coffin of his boy, Waldo, who died at 5 years old. Could any of us do this even once, let alone twice? `In my novel, Elias Hatch, the cemetery owner of Old Willow Cemetery, keeps to himself, reading voraciously in his cottage overlooking the gravestones in Concord, Massachusetts. Like Emerson, Hatch is a modern-day, transcendentalist. He believes we can all transcend mind and body. Like Emerson, Hatch believes that man is disunited with himself in a thick darkness and that the “gleams of better light,” can and do prevail in all of life and nature. Emerson and the 19th-century transcendentalists had a passion for wakefulness, deep thought, and inspiration. Do you sometimes feel like you want to wake up and see a true vision? Emerson wrote in Method of Nature “The crystal sphere of thought is as concentrical as the geological structure of the globe. As our soils and rocks lie in strata, concentric strata, so do all men’s thinkings run laterally, never vertically.” A crystal sphere of thought … thinkings run laterally. What is that exactly? In Old Willow Cemetery, Elias Hatch understands this mystery. He witnesses this crystal sphere connecting to the darkness of the dead. Impossible? Not if you know the secret that lies buried in Old Willow in Concord. Can you guess what this mysterious power is? Elias Hatch will not tell you. Only the dazzling faces of Old Willow will reveal it.

There are authors who attempt to enter the realm of great literature on th ecoattalis of the famous writers and philosophers of the past. Paula Cappa knows how to inform her story with the likes of Ralph Waldo Emerson and refrain from mimicking or palgarizing. She simply, and quite assuredly incorporates the influence into her web. Through the twists and turns of the plot Cappa manages to establish the rare use of the concept of transcendentalism with a story that is staggeringly poignant. Paula Cappa is a fine, informed young writer and now with two successful books under her belt, we will be reading even more about her.”

Buy on Amazon.com or at Barnes&Noble in ebook or trade paperback published by Crispin Books.

Founded in 2009, Literary Aficionado provides professionally written book reviews and articles about current literary trends. In addition to posting reviews on the Literary Aficionado website, reviews are also supplied to a growing lists of libraries, booksellers, and readers.

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