1. Modern “Monsters”

    Not many people think of the 19th century writer Mary Shelley as a feminist, but they should. She started her ground breaking, sophisticated novel Frankenstein at the age of 18. She had it published by age 19 — back in 1818 – and it became an overnight sensation. The book is still popular with horror aficionados today. It deals with themes of life, death, and the dangers of the modern ages. The book’s subtitle was “The Modern Prometheus”.

    Many people do not understand that the "monster" in the book is not the seven-foot reanimated hulk, but the doctor who dared to tamper with life and death.
    In Out of the Shadows author Joanne Rendell revisits these same compelling themes. She writes alternately as Mary Shelley and modern-day scientist Clare Fitzgerald.
    Clara feels at odds. She is in mourning for her mother who has recently died. Her career in academia is stalled while her fiancé’s star is rising. Clara knows she should feel happy for him, but she feels left out.
    She decides to research her family’s history and is excited find a link to Mary Shelley. She embarks on quest to find Mary Shelley’s lost diaries.
    The plot thickens in true gothic style. Questions about modern genetic research and trust come into play. Clara must decide on the course of her own life, as well as whom she can and will trust. This is a clever and suspenseful modern view of Mary Shelly and modern “monsters”.