What We're Reading: The Moth Diaries By Rachel Klein

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Epistolary novels have started to fascinate me and made me realise they are a genre I love after I finished this book.

How many of us have not at least tried to successfully keep a diary? And how many of us have tried so after reading a great epistolary novel? Where else to get inspiration if not from someone else’s beautifully written captivating diary.

Hopefully after reading this one all we want is to be great writers and not to go exactly through what our unnamed narrator goes through.

We have all been 16 years old (with many of us being girls) so the way in which the narrator opens up in her diary is something most readers will be familiar too alongside her unreliability which Klein uses to show us her return to psychosis and obsession.

For the narrator being at the boarding school was supposed to be a safe space, somewhere where she could get away from her father’s suicide, and that is exactly what it was. There she found Lucy which made life better and gave her a reason to look forward to the new school year; and then Ernessa arrived.

Ernessa for me is the narrator’s foil, confident and fully aware of her capability as a person to function, perhaps that is why she is drawn to Lucy and is also seen as a threat by the narrator. Perhaps the narrator refuses to see their similarity, or is simply too infatuated with Lucy that she has to create a scenario in which Lucy would never willingly leave her and Ernessa is somehow at fault.

Through her course in English Literature the narrator is introduced to gothic literature and in her mind everything spirals and she becomes convinces that Ernessa is a vampire and all the awful things happening at the school are somehow her fault with the lines between nightmare and reality becoming very thin in the book and you often have to question what is real and what the narrator is making up; as Ernessa herself could exist just in the narrator's head.

The fact that the main reason behind the narrator making herself believe Ernessa is a vampire comes as inspiration from the literature she is currently consuming alongside her recreational drug use can either be grounds for the reader to believe that this is just the insane inner works of a teenagers brain or to be evidence for the reader that there have been Ernessa’s in the past and there will be more in the future.


Rhiannon BrittenComment