Book Review: 'Coral Glynn' by Peter Cameron

A book about love revisited as published in the MORE 2012 issue

by Mark Doty
coral glynn book image
Photograph: Peter Ardito

In his moody and haunting Coral Glynn, Peter Cameron serves up all the elements ofgothic fiction: a vulnerable young woman unmoored in her life, a suitor whose motives are in doubt and a gloomy house attended by an even gloomier housekeeper. But the novelist adds enough twists and tensions to make the book feel refreshingly new. Coral, a nurse hired to care for an elderly woman, seems emotionally numb; when her patient dies, is Coral responsible? And what does she know about the dire goings-on in the woods nearby? The old woman’s son seems attracted to Coral, but even that is mysterious, given his ambiguous sexuality. With its echoes of Iris Murdoch’s moral fables and Daphne du Maurier’s lush romances, Coral Glynn is like an engrossing black-and-white movie for a rainy afternoon—a tale of clouded hearts, hidden motives and dangerous affections.

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First published in the March 2012 issue

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