Withdrawn, uneducated and unloved, Frederick collects butterflies and takes photographs. He is obsessed with a beautiful stranger, the art student Miranda. When he wins the pools he buys a remote Sussex house and calmly abducts Miranda, believing she will grow to love him in time. Alone and desperate, Miranda must struggle to overcome her own prejudices and contempt if she is understand her captor, and so gain her freedom. (Summary and book cover courtesy of goodreads.com)
This is a book that I will rate highly, but I’m actually not sure if I recommend it. I actually read this about 12 years ago and I STILL think about it. I still have nightmares about it. (You have been warned!) The little kid in me would rank this a 1 star: I don’t like scary movies/books. My intellectual side gives this a solid 5 stars: there are not many books I remember with such vivid detail so many years later. Or has so many lingering questions I still wonder about years later.
This book weaves first person points of views between the male collector and the victim, Miranda. What makes the book so creepy are the building logical conclusions Frederick makes. This is not a man of passion, he is calm and calculating. Just when you wonder how there could be such depravity, Fowles provides simplistic logical justifications for Frederick (assuming a lack of empathy or compassion). I found myself wanting to throw the book away just as I compulsively neglected food and sleep in order to find out what happens.
Rating: 5 stars!
Who should read it? People who can handle an extremely creepy psychological thriller.