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The Vampire Tapestry    by Suzy McKee Charnas order for
Vampire Tapestry
by Suzy McKee Charnas
Order:  USA  Can
Orb, 2008 (1980)
Hardcover, Paperback, e-Book
* * *   Reviewed by Martina Bexte

In this modern classic first published in 1980, Charnas examines the life of one Dr. Edward Weyland, a well respected professor whose students and peers consider him a genius in his field of dream therapy. None of them, however, know that he harbours a secret - until a suspicious woman begins to suspect that there is more to Dr. Weyland's studies than meets the eye.

Charnas incorporates five different points of view to tell Weyland's story, beginning with that of Katje de Groot, a middle-aged South African widow whose suspicions about Weyland's proclivities shine a damning light on his life and reputation. Her determination to expose him soon finds Weyland involved with a Satanist, a compassionate teenager, and a fellow educator. But the story truly shines once Weyland begins to schedule sessions with a troubled psychiatrist named Floria who fancies herself falling in love with a man whose need for blood precludes him from ever having a normal human relationship.

This isn't your typical vampire novel, so readers who are expecting a story that utilizes aspects of popular vampire myths might be disappointed. As a character study however, The Vampire Tapestry shines. The most fascinating player is of course, Edward Weyland. While he might be perceived as nothing more than a monster preying on humans to survive, Charnas expertly evokes reader sympathy for his evolutionary plight and the way he's chosen to live his life. Whether you're revisiting The Vampire Tapestry for a second or third time or have only just discovered it, the story definitely satisfies on various levels.

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