Dracula, My Love: The Secret Journals of Mina Harker

Written by Syrie James
Review by Rebecca Roberts

James explores the story of Dracula, in 1890 England and Transylvania, from the viewpoint of Mina Harker, bringing an old story hauntingly back to life. In this retelling, the story begins with Mina and her friend Lucy holidaying on the coast where they each individually meet and fall under the spell of the mysterious stranger, Mr. Wagner. James recounts Lucy’s sleepwalking and decline in health with fresh details and insight, and provides readers with a new look on both women’s actions. The revelation that Mr. Wagner is really Dracula works well through the eyes of Mina, and the story easily comes together through her diary entries.

As Mina falls in love with Dracula, she struggles with her loyalty to her husband, Jonathan, and her friends. All the characters from the original story appear, although each is slightly different. For example, Van Helsing is portrayed as an old-fashioned, arrogant, but scientifically inept man. While some readers might find this off-putting, I found it interesting and enjoyed the fresh twist and new theories.

James recreates an incredible depiction of Dracula that is both attractive and chilling; I became so intrigued with Dracula that I wasn’t sure which man I wanted Mina to end up with, and often found myself secretly rooting for him. The original storyline is followed quite well, and while James does take some writer’s liberties, the overall impact is a riveting, detailed, fascinating look at the story of Dracula. Recommended for all vampire lore lovers.