Isis: A Tale of the Supernatural
By Douglas Clegg
Iris Catherine Villiers wanders the gardens and cliffs of her home at Belerion Hall with her brother Harvey. The two are close and the relationship makes up for the lack of attention from her mother, father, and two older brothers. Iris and Harvey enjoy listening to the stories told by the gardener, Old Marsh, who loves to tell the two tales of death and resurrection. In their grandfather’s library, they discover books on demons and ancient rights and begin playing around with spells they believe only to be harmless words and symbols. When an unfortunate accident takes Harvey’s life but leaves Iris alive, she does something unheard of — she brings Harvey back from the dead.
Isis reads like a morbid fairytale. Bones, death, sex — all are topics in this tale. Love and loneliness play large roles infusing the story with a sad overtone. The book is studded with black and white sketches that leave you with a grim vision of the story and the the grave deeds of Iris.
Isis is a short book, 113 pages, made even shorter by the illustrations but it’s captivating. I read the whole books while eating lunch (which I wouldn’t necessarily recommend due to some of the content). While the story is about death, it is more creepy and morbid than scary. I picked this book up because of the cover and I worried that it would not live up to the love at first sight affair that made me bring it home from the library. I am happy to report that this short read was worth it. It’s impact is much bigger than it’s actual physical size. It’s a sad, disturbing tale of death with carefully chosen words to evoke the sadness and loneliness that accompanies death in it’s numerous forms.