What’s your favorite book that nobody else has heard of? You know, not Little Women or Huckleberry Finn, not the latest best-seller . . . whether they’ve read them or not, everybody “knows” those books. I’m talking about the best book that, when you tell people that you love it, they go, “Huh? Never heard of it?”
My favorite book that no one (I know of) has read is Madeline: After the Fall of the House of Usher by Marie Kiraly.
Madeline is a Gothic novel full of danger, mystery, family curses and intrigue. It is about Pamela, a mysterious woman who shows up on Poe's doorstep looking for help in finding her missing son and mother. Pamela is directed to Louisiana and upon her arrival she gets entrapped in the seductive world of the Usher's.
The author, Kiraly took a lot of risks with Madeline. First by making it a sequel of Poe's, Fall of the House of Usher. Then by putting Poe in the story and finally, by breathing a new life and extended back story into the characters that we originally see in Poe's tale. Sounds like a lot, I know, but somehow it comes together in a seamless story.
I read this book about seven years ago and misplaced it soon after. I haven't seen it since but the story of Pamela and Madeline has remained with me all of these years.