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Presented by State Library Victoria

Discussion for October 2020 for Between the Pages

Hello everyone,

To those who read The Dark Descent of Elizabeth Frankenstein by Kirsten White, I hope you all enjoyed it. Warning for spoilers to those who have yet to read the book below, so if you haven’t, you may want to click away from reading any more of this post. I actually happened to just read Frankenstein just before reading this, and it was really interesting to see what the author did with this, considering that Elizabeth is the love interest in the original Frankenstein. 

Here are some of my thoughts:

 – So, I liked the chemistry between the three friends of Elizabeth, Justine and Mary.

 – Victor Frankenstein was interesting from this perspective, considering that the novel is told from Elizabeth’s perspective.

 – Wow, is the relationship unhealthy and Victor deserves everything that happened to him, because he is so controlling of Elizabeth.

 – The first half was quite slow and not a lot happened, and it didn’t really pick up until the final third.

 – That being said, the final third was quite good and really interesting.

 – While the flashback chapters showing us the life of the characters when they were younger were interesting to read, I found they also didn’t add too much to the story.

 – I did like the direction the author decided to take this in and it was pretty cool at how it fits with the original text, even though many things are completely different. 

 – It’s not really that long of a book, and not too much happens, and I did feel that the first portion dragged the novel down a fair bit.

 – My favourite character was Mary and had the most personality of all the characters. Elizabeth was fine, though not amazing.

 – Victor is literally so evil.

 – Overall, I gave it a 6/10, meaning that it was good, though not amazing.

Please discuss the novel with me below and happy reading!



I also took a while to get into it, had to read little bits at a time before it became really interesting, and when it did, I really enjoyed it. I loved the friendship between Mary, Elizabeth and Adam (!!) and thought Elizabeth had a pretty neat character arc. I haven't actually read Frankenstein, although I am curious now after reading this. I listened to it as an audiobook (I barely read physical books anymore...) and I thought that experience was really good with this book. I guess I'm left with the impressions the last bit of the book gave me, so I really like it and probably would read/listen to it again!

31st Oct, 20

Ah yeah, Adam was quite interesting to read about! I'm glad you enjoyed it and your points are totally valid. Frankenstein is definitely not for everyone as while it is a short book, it does happen to be pretty dense, but maybe you'll like it :)

31st Oct, 20