The Dark Descent of Elizabeth Frankenstein by Kiersten White

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The Dark Descent of Elizabeth Frankenstein (Delacorte Press 2018) by Kiersten White is a re-telling of Mary Shelley's Frankenstein (1818) from the perspective of Elizabeth Lavenza, the orphan of a mother who died in childbirth. Elizabeth was rescued from abusive foster care by Victor Frankenstein's family and given to Victor as a child companion in Geneva.

The novel picks up as Victor goes away to college to the University of Ingolstadt. Because his family saved her and she was adopted for his sake, Elizabeth feels useless and vulnerable without Victor. She travels to Europe to find him, accompanied by the family governess, Justine. Justine—who takes care of Victor's younger brothers, Ernest and William—serves as a sort of interlocutor to whom Elizabeth tells the story of how she was initially adopted at the age of five and played with Victor as a child. Elizabeth recalls that, from a young age, Victor was in awe of the power of nature.

With the help of another woman named Mary, a bookseller who is an acquaintance of...

(The entire section is 340 words.)