A sumptuous, gothic-infused story about a marriage that is unraveled by dark secrets, a friendship cursed to end in tragedy, and the danger of believing in fairy tales—the breathtaking adult debut from New York Times bestselling author Roshani Chokshi.
Once upon a time, a man who believed in fairy tales married a beautiful, mysterious woman named Indigo Maxwell-Casteñada. He was a scholar of myths. She was heiress to a fortune. They exchanged gifts and stories and believed they would live happily ever after—and in exchange for her love, Indigo extracted a promise: that her bridegroom would never pry into her past.
But when Indigo learns that her estranged aunt is dying and the couple is forced to return to her childhood home, the House of Dreams, the bridegroom will soon find himself unable to resist. For within the crumbling manor’s extravagant rooms and musty halls, there lurks the shadow of another girl: Azure, Indigo’s dearest childhood friend who suddenly disappeared. As the house slowly reveals his wife’s secrets, the bridegroom will be forced to choose between reality and fantasy, even if doing so threatens to destroy their marriage . . . or their lives.
Combining the lush, haunting atmosphere of Mexican Gothic with the dreamy enchantment of The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue, The Last Tale of the Flower Bride is a spellbinding and darkly romantic page-turner about love and lies, secrets and betrayal, and the stories we tell ourselves to survive.
I disliked this book profoundly. Except the ending.
And as ratings are meant to reflect our like or dislike, I chose two stars.
The writing is beautiful, Roshani knows her craft that’s undeniable. It’s certainly gothic as the synopsis said and I adored Roshani’s other books and yet… I was feeling nauseated while reading that story.
Ironically, that also means that Roshani did a very good job at weaving that dark tale.
But this is a terrible tale and I am not a fan of terrible tales, rather I am a fan of fairytales.
I also need to love the main characters to like a book and I despised Indigo. She was manipulative, possessive, entitled and a real bully. She was cold, haughty and the more she grew up, the more strange and violent she felt.
I didn’t like how she went to play with Azure to play Azure. She betrayed her best friend in the most horrific way. Their relationship is so toxic that it had me deeply unsettled and it completely deterred me from the story.
As far as Azure is concerned, she was the most likeable of the two, even if I had a hard time comprehending how she could believe in such games for such a long time.
I also didn’t feel any love in the romantic sense between the bridegroom and Indigo. Their encounter was more carnal than anything but by playing all sorts of games and fantasies, never connecting on an honest and profound level, I couldn’t believe they loved each other, even if they claimed their love. Roshani didn’t convinced me. I needed more proof than that.
I also saw the plot twist for a long time.
The atmosphere is a real success at being gothic, weighty and oppressive with the tension slowly rising. Yet it just succeeded to oppress me but never seduce me.
Should you avoid this book?
Certainly not if you don’t need to love your main character as I do. As I stated above, Roshani knows her art and has written a solid atmospheric and terrible story. It just wasn’t for me.
I much prefer seeing the playful side of Roshani Chokshi with the great banter she graced her YA books with.
That proves once more that reading is certainly a personal experience and what so many justly adored in that story simply put me off.
Thanks for reading!