Dracula, My Love: The Secret Journals of Mina Harker
by Syrie James
Avon (July 20, 2010)
Romance between Mina Harker and Dracula is not a new concept. It's been done in movies and books. Elaine Bergstrom touched on this subject in Mina and Blood to Blood, James tells the story of Dracula following very closely the plot layed out by Bram Stoker. Whereas Stoker used journals and letters of various characters James tells the story soly from the point of view of Mina Harker. She has married Johathan Harker the hapless young solicitor sent to Transylvania to negotiate with Count Dracula for purchasing land in England. While Jonathan barley survives his nightmarish existence Mina spends time in Whitby with her dearest friend Lucy. During her stay she learns that a ship, the Demeter, has crashed on shore, with all the crew missing and the dead captain lashed to the helm.
MIna writes her recollection of the events that so drastically changed her life. She and Jonathan have been married for seven years and have a son they named Quincy after a friend who died while chasing after the fiend Dracula.
Mina has a different view of things than that portrayed in Stoker's novel. Although the main plot is basically the same Mina adds additional material from her secret life. She writes in order to come to an understanding of this turbulent time known only to herself.
Mina's Story: While in Whitby with Lucy she meets an intriguing and extraordinarily handsome man who calls himself Mr Wagner. Even though Lucy has always been acknowledged as the pretty one Wagner only has eyes for Mina. The attraction is mutual, although Mina feels very guilty because he has pledge herself to marry Jonathan Harker a man, she reminds herself, she loves very much. Evan after Jonathan returns from his harrowing trip to Dracula's castle and they have married, Mina still has dreams of the mystery man and how it felt that one night they danced together and he held her in his arms.
Mina's attraction does not diminish even when she discovers that Mr Wagner is the monstrous vampire Count Dracula that Dr Van Helsing is convinced must be destroyed. In a tip of the hat to Fred Saberhagen who wrote the marvelous Dracula Tape, author James allows the Count to tell his side of the story rebutting all the nasty accusations made against him. For me this was the most fascination part of the book.
Dracula, My Love with its charming, 19th century writing style tells of a passionate, forbidden romance which of course makes it all the more exciting.