THE GARGOYLE by ANDREW DAVIDSON.
The nameless and beautiful narrator of The Gargoyle is driving along a dark road when he is dazzled by what seems to be a flight of arrows. He crashes into a ravine and wakes up in a burn ward, undergoing the tortures of the damned. He is now a monster. His life is over.
But it is only just beginning : one day, Marianne Engel, a bewitching sculptress of gargoyles, walks into his room and reveals that they were once lovers in medieval Germany. In her telling, he was a badly burned mercenary and she, a nun and a scribe, nursed him back to health in the famed monastery of Engelthal. As she spins her tale, Scheherazade-fashion, and relates equally mesmerising stories of deathless love in Japan, Iceland, Italy and England, he finds himself drawn back to life - and finally, to love
...... Inner front cover.
FIRST SENTENCE (Chapter 1): Accidents ambush the unsuspecting, often violently, just like love.
MEMORABLE MOMENT (Page 12): The only way I was able to survive that shitty world was to imagine better ones, so I read everything I could get my hands on. By my early teens, I was spending so many hours in the library that the librarians brought extra sandwiches for me.
KEEP IT OR NOT?: Most definitely I'll be keeping this one.
Oh my goodness, what a book. Set mainly in modern times The Gargoyle is also part historical novel, part love story, part thriller, part mystery and part fantasy - in other words a darn near perfect read, who would have guessed it was this authors debut novel?
The narrator of the story is the Gargoyle of the title, badly burnt in a car accident we never get to know his name. In hospital recovering from his burns (be warned some of the descriptions are pretty graphic) he meets Marianne, a delusional (or is she?) patient on the psychiatric ward, who claims that not only were they lovers in a previous lifetime but that she has been searching for him for the last seven hundred years. What then ensues is a unique and beautiful love story.
Telling not only the story of the Gargoyle's life experiences pre-Marianne (another warning - there is a sexual element to this) the book also chronicles Marianne's recollections of their previous life together as well as the telling of some tear jerking tales that it could be argued were merely page fillers but I felt added a wonderfully poignant element to the book.
A truly original story, a story all about the power of love and redemption, a story of a man who struggles to accept himself, a story that I highly recommend you read.