Wednesday, March 13, 2013
The Stockholm Octavo: A Novel, by Karen Engelman is bassed on the 1792 assassination of King Gustav III. The novel centers around Emil Larsson, a bachelor and gambler, and Mrs. Sparrow, who owns a gambling venue. But the two become connected through Mrs. Sparrow’s ability to “read the cards” and her belief in each person’s Octavo. Although this is a novel, there is much history to be absorbed in this intriguing story. Of course, there is the problem of keeping fact and fiction in their right category. Emil needs to find a wife and completing his Octavo will supposedly help him find her. Mrs. Sparrow has to complete hers. All the while, the two are trying to prevent or at least warn Gustav of his future, which has been read in the cards. All of this is intertwined and interesting, albeit not necessarily true. Nonetheless, Ms. Engleman has written a very interesting story that should keep your interest.