You could lose someone down there, couldn’t you? Anyone could get buried under the concrete slab, and no one would even know!’
The Beauregarde women have lived in the shadow of The Seminary for four generations. And there is nothing conventional about Marcela, or her family.
When the decadent and obsessive Gordana acquires the iconic Sydney property and invites a television crew to film the building’s transformation into a magnificent showpiece, strangers suddenly penetrate Marcela’s world, each with a dark secret of their own.
But Marcela conceals a sinister bond which inextricably ties her to the derelict estate, holding the power to not only unravel Gordana’s grand designs, but expose bloodstained treachery, long-buried betrayals and lies.
A decadent and eccentric tableau of theatre and treachery, old secrets and betrayals; exploring friendship, guilt and obsession ... slipping between characters to gradually reveal a century-old mystery.
Plot: Fedele’s book spans the fast-paced and quickly deteriorating events surrounding the mysterious circumstances and happenings at The Seminary and its surrounding community. The well-planned plot reveals the universe the author has created and will keep readers turning pages.
Prose: Fedele’s book is written in a comforting, informal narrative voice that lends readers a false sense of security as eerie happenings begin to surface at The Seminary during the construction project that seeks to transform it. The author pays attention to small details that reveal a lot about the characters and their motives, desires, and fears.
Originality: The storyline focuses on a different character’s perspective in each chapter, bringing to life their individual dilemmas and goals. This formatting is enhanced by the overall story arc continuing without a hitch and the interspersed illustrations and quotes that flesh out the characters and their backstories.
Character Development: Fedele’s characters are developed in extreme, intricate detail, from their memories and backstories to their current issues and adventures. Special focus is placed on the interwoven story arcs between characters and the strong relationships they hold, both positive and negative.
Date Submitted: August 15, 2018
If you like authors such as Daphne du Maurier you'll love The Legacy of Beauregarde
Like the previous reviewer, I also read The Red Door before Rosa Fedele’s new novel, which, I must say, is well worth a read if you enjoy strong characters and an intriguing plot. The style is on the literary side – which I love. Skilled and imaginative use of language add an extra layer of delight in my opinion.
The Legacy of Beauregarde is moody and, at times, sinister. There are touches of the paranormal and shades of horror. As you read, you feel as though you are sinking into the history of the place, its houses, and its characters (some of whom are not at all what they seem at first), wrap themselves around you.
It’s true that there is a lot to take in, and that you need a sharp mind to keep up, but some of my favourite books make me work hard in order to repay my efforts tenfold. And why not? That's the way a good book draws you in.
I must say also that the artwork scattered throughout the book, even in the ebook version, is captivating, and certainly helps to enhance the reader’s experience.
Would I read it again? This is one of my personal yardsticks in judging the quality of a novel. And the answer is yes! In fact, I’m looking forward to it.
This story, set in 1990, begins with a For Sale advertisement for The Seminary, built in 1877 as a Catholic church, but now a dilapidated Sydney landmark, vacant for the last 20 years, an extraordinary structure steeped in history but ‘in need of complete renovation’. The narrative of The Legacy of Beauregard (MoshPit Publishing 2018) is woven around the restoration of this building; the action unfolds as the property is gradually repaired, rebuilt and restored to its former glory. Or that’s the plan, anyway.
Author Rosa Fedele Garrett has given us an engaging and quirky story that blends the traditional with the modern, the traumatic with the romantic, the horrifying with the humorous, and the realistic with the fantastic. But it is her amazing artwork that first caught my eye: beautifully rendered illustrations and detailed life-like drawings; portraits of the characters that really brought them to life.
This complex story of intrigue and mystery captured my attention from the first pages and sustained my curiosity with a vast range of well-drawn characters, a complicated plot with secrets, twists and turns, and a mysterious and compelling setting. With overtones of the supernatural and even a bit of horror thrown in, the story is portrayed in rich language that is sensual and descriptive.
The Seminary is a crumbling heritage-listed castle in Sydney, and our story begins when Gordana and Richard Lemann purchase it and begin their grand plans of renovation. In the spirit of TV show Grand Designs, producer and presenter Maurice Ellis is chronicling the refurbishment in a documentary series called Dream Home Australia, filmed over the ensuing months. Marcela lives in the attached caretaker’s cottage and used to have a connection to Claudia who also works on the project. We’re introduced to Claudia’s friends Maddie and James, to Dan Stankic and his sister, Ilijana, and to the elusive Ratty. We get quite a few perspectives from this range of characters – it is a mammoth cast for the author to wrangle, and equally for the reader to get our collective heads around. But Fedele does an admirable job. Using luxurious language and authentic dialogue, she gives us a sense of history, of architecture, of the Cassandra-like gift of prescience or prophesy, and a tangled skein of emotional relationships, all with backstories and their own motivations and agendas. While there were a few moments of implausibility, I think that the book is intended to be read with the suspension of disbelief; the over-the-top situations and coincidences add to the melodramatic and farcical sense of fun.
This book has all the hallmarks of a gothic mystery: abandoned or orphaned children; family secrets; an old house that is almost a character itself; dreams; death; ghosts; a mysterious tunnel and mistaken identities. And we are treated to all the themes: thwarted ambition; blood loyalty; violence; betrayal; jealousy; love and lust. Fedele has done her research and this adds intimacy to the story, although at times it is a little laboured. If you enjoy reading a story that is heavy on detail, with an intriguing and mysterious storyline that blurs the line between reality and myth, if you enjoy devouring a book and having a laugh along the way, then this is for you. The voice is fresh, and there are some surprising twists and reveals at the end.
This incredibly well crafted book caught hold of me by the lapels and hauled me straight in and didn’t let me out (except under protest) until it was complete The characters are so well portrayed, not just their appearance, but their characteristics and mannerisms, that I feel that I would recognise them if I saw them walking down the street or interacted with them on social media. This wide and believable cast populate this darkly twisted tale, with character appearances from a previous book, The Red Door, rubbing shoulders with new personalities. Although I had not read the previous novel, The Legacy of Beauregarde easily works as a stand alone work of fiction. The plotting was very clever. It was fast moving and had exceptionally good moments of tension and moments of sweet poignancy, together with occasionally darkly humourous scenes all melded together to form a complex and engrossing tale.The personalities, along with their relationships, hopes, dreams, desires and past lives raised many and conflicting responses in me.The end for so many of those that stayed the course, is as surprising as it is thrilling, making me yearn for another volume, or eight! Finishing this book felt as if I was parting from friends. I totally loved it and it was beautifully enhanced by the brilliant artwork of the author.