Isis by Douglas Clegg on my list for this year. The story is of a young girl, Iris, and her two brothers who live in a house with their cloistered mother and mentally ill grandfather. Iris finds solace in her friendship with her brother, Horace, and the gothic tales that the gardner tells her. Tragedy strikes when Harvey dies in a horrific accident that causes her to create a bargin with Death that will allow Harvey to come back to her. Of course, the deal is not what she expected and Iris must choose between her brother's happiness and her own.
Perhaps the most interesting and likeable aspect of the book, are illustrations that are interspered throughout the novella. They beautiful black and white sketches that correspond with the current action, however, they add even more to the novel than the text does. Though there are gotthic aspects in the novella, I felt that the pictures are what gave the novel its eerie tone and creepy atmosphere.
Overall, I was disappointed by this selection. After doing some background reading on the novella, I found that this is in fact the prequel to one of Clegg's series. Yet, having read this book first, it is doubful that I will pick up another one of his works. Perhaps it would have been better if Clegg merely worked the background of these characters into the rest of his series and not created an entire novella dedicated to this story because it does not seem to be able to stand alone as a novella.