Greetings fans and friends! I just wanted to share this wonderful email I received in my box last night!
(Posted with her permission)
“Dear Ms Swan
I read your book while going through the latest bout of an illness that I have had for some years and I gobbled up the pages as your words took my mind far from my sickness and into the bustling opera house.
So, what can I say? You made me fall in love with Erik and his story all over again! And I felt the same thrill reading your novel as I did when I first heard Andrew Lloyd Webber’s musical when I was eight years old. There is so much about this book that I loved that it is going to be amazing if I can get it out in some kind of order.
I loved how you created a whole universe within the opera house that sucked me in from the very beginning. It was like the whole world was inside this one building as you described its size and features.
The first time that Christine and Erik spoke together was beautiful especially with Christine’s child-like question when she asked if he lived inside the mirror – for some reason that one little line could have easily made me cry from its simplicity.
I thought the arguments between Christine and Erik (though often ending badly for them:)) were brilliant because we got to see some of her spirit – spirit which she only showed a few times in the original novel and rarely (in my opinion) in other versions of the story. One thing that I found nearly heart-breaking was that despite all of her questions and misgiving Christine was always willing to give Erik the benefit of the doubt and didn’t reject him – even when he was being an idiot about things or was committing huge crimes. And even when she did think the worse she was still trying to protect him and keep him safe from the outside world.
One of my favourite bits was when Christine said “I wish I could take it all away,” This – too me – just showed the depth of her love and caring. Those of us who love someone who we see daily in pain (emotional, physical or spiritual even) would happily take it all into ourselves to give them some peace. For some reason that little sentence from her really touched me.
I also enjoyed how you had their relationship initially begin with Christine only wanting to keep in contact with him because she didn’t want him left beneath the ground by himself and then had it grow from there.
I found your characterization of Erik just perfect. You have painted perfectly the image of a man who has both an angel and a demon warring inside him and the explanation of his motives and reason for doing thing were fantastic. And I found the sections were you had lighthearted moments between Erik and Christine lovely.
I loved how you delved into Christine mind and her feelings taking in her confusion and heart ache. You made all her emotions so real that I felt my own heart go out to her more than once as she tried to figure out just how she felt and though she love Erik she felt that she shouldn’t because of what he had done…
And despite being an Erik and Christine fan girl all of the way, I have to tell you that I love how you painted Raoul (I was falling in love with him myself). You didn’t paint him as the villain of the piece and in my opinion you made him out to be a lot better than he is in the original novel. I always found him to be very wimpy and girly (almost like a porcelain doll) through Leroux’s description and utterly unworthy of Christine but I adore your portrayal of him. You made him a real 3D man with depth and emotions. (On a side note I like how you had him not drink alcohol – mostly. That was one of the things I found very bizarre about Love Never Dies.)And I could honestly sympathize with Christine as she tried to choose between him and Erik.
And last but not least Madame Giry. I love her warmth and understanding towards both Erik and Christine and her protective instincts towards them both. She seems to be sadly neglected in the world of Phantom and I was happy to read a novel were she is not undermined and pushed into the back ground.
I will be sitting on pins as I wait for part two to come out and to see what Erik does now that he seems to have cracked.
Many thanks for our wonderful book.