This Is Not The Shakespeare Stage Review: Quiver, by Holly Luhning

This Is Not The Shakespeare Stage is new to The Word On the Street in 2011! This new stage features hourly, genre-based, interactive programming sessions showcasing great Canadian young-adult books, authors, and artists plus the all-new Open Mic Hour. To celebrate, we have asked teens to read and review the books appearing on the stage! Saambavi Mano is our first reviewer. She reviewed Quiver by Holly Luhning, who is appearing on the stage at 2 PM in the session titled “Cast(ing) of Characters”.


We’ve all heard of horrible things happening in the past, things that we couldn’t even imagine happening now. Countess Elizabeth Bathory is just about as bad as they get, having tortured and killed over six hundred servant girls and then bathing in their blood to preserve her beauty and youth.

Dr. Danica Winston, a young psychologist and Quiver’s main protagonist, has just started her first job at Stowmoor, a forensic hospital housed in an old Victorian insane asylum in England. Danica is in a steady relationship with Henry, a well-known artist in London, who wonders why she would choose to spend her time around insane and violent criminals. When Danica is assigned to interview the infamous Martin Foster, who murdered a fourteenyear old girl in honour of Bathory, she finds herself fascinated by both Foster and the gory tales of Bathory. What starts out as innocent curiosity soon turns into an obsession as Danica finds herself struggling to maintain a professional atmosphere around Foster, especially after she begins to suspect that he is actually involved in a cult that idolizes Bathory.

Danica finds herself prodded to continue this unhealthy obsession by Maria Janos, a mysterious friend from Danica’s past who came to England to do archival work in London. Maria claims to have access to Bathory’s long-lost diaries, and she uses them to slowly draw Danica into the Bathory mania that is now spreading after news of Foster reached the media.

As a result of Danica’s new-found interest, her career starts to take a nosedive and her relationship with Henry breaks down. Danica soon realizes that her personal and professional lives have come way too close, and she finds herself torn between her career, her relationship and her dark fascination.

This novel is enthralling in a heart-racing, bone-chilling way. Be warned, this novel is not for the faint-hearted. With its gory details and spine-tingling storyline, this literary thriller is sure to keep you up at night. I would recommend this to fans of movies like Saw and Shutter Island, because this novel really does paint pictures in your head. Quiver is an overall amazing book, and I hope you choose to read it. Happy reading!

One thought on “This Is Not The Shakespeare Stage Review: Quiver, by Holly Luhning

  1. Pingback: This Is Not The Shakespeare Stage: Once Every Never by Lesley Livingston « Torontowots's Blog

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