May 13, 2013
In 1853, while he was writing Les Misérables, novelist Victor Hugo began participating in hundreds of séances to reestablish contact with his daughter. In the process, he claimed to have communed with the likes of Plato, Galileo, Shakespeare, Dante, — and even the Devil himself. Hugo’s transcriptions of these conversations have all been published. Or so it was believed. Recovering from her own losses, mythologist Jac L’Etoile arrives on the Isle of Jersey — where Hugo conducted the séances — hoping to uncover a secret about the island’s Celtic roots. But the man who’s invited her there, a troubled soul named Theo Gaspard, has hopes she’ll help him discover something quite different — Hugo’s lost conversations with someone called the Shadow of the Sepulcher. What follows is an intricately plotted and atmospheric tale of suspense (based very much on Hugo’s own transcripts) with a spellbinding ghost story at its heart, by one of America’s most gifted and imaginative novelists. My great grandfather was a Kabbalist scholar — which is where my interest in reincarnation comes in — which the book deals with.