The Silver Kiss
First edition cover
|Author||Annette Curtis Klause|
|Subject||Loss, Love, Vampires|
|Media type||Mass market paperback/hardcover|
The Silver Kiss by Annette Curtis Klause published in 1992, available in hardcover and Mass Market Paperback. In 2009, the book is republished with two bonus short stories by Klause: The Summer of Love and The Christmas Cat.
The Silver Kiss, by Annette Curtis is a dark vampire story set in early 90s America and examines the theme of death, loss, and belonging through the romance of a young girl in her late teens (Zoe Sutcliff) and a three-hundred-year-old vampire with the appearance of a twenty-one-year-old youth (Simon). Through the course of the book we discover that the Sutcliff family are undergoing a quiet tragedy as Zoe's mother is currently in hospital dying from terminal cancer. It is through Zoe's burgeoning relationship with the vampire youth, and their battle with a second and thoroughly evil vampire named Christopher that Zoe and Simon struggle to come to terms with their own mortality and the loss of the loved ones in their lives.
Zoe Sutcliff is presented at the start of the book as a mature, capable girl who is forced to witness the slow loss of her mother, Anne Sutcliff and the dislocation of her father, Harry Sutcliff. She turns to her only true friend Lorraine. However it quickly becomes apparent that Lorraine does not, and cannot provide the emotional support that Zoe needs as Lorraine herself is ordered to move to Oregon with her father and her stepmother as her father has found a new job there, leaving Zoe completely alone with her grief.
Simon the vampire is entranced by this young girl who is so grief-stricken, and has to come to terms with his own awakening feelings of fondness and indeed love, whilst he tries to control his own horrific nature. His growing attachment to the mortal girl plunges them both into danger as he also seeks to finally put an end to the twisted vampiric child Christopher; his own brother with the appearance of a six-year-old albino who is a sadistic, vile and beastly version of what Simon could become. Despite his better judgement, Simon approaches the mortal girl and the two are forced to confront Christopher in a climatic battle at the end of the book.
The Silver Kiss takes the readers and its characters on a dark journey set in the midst of teenage life, and in this sense is a coming of age drama which leads the characters to confront their own fears of death, and even challenge what their notions of death actually is. Through the medium of a horror story, the Author uses the novella to examine different types of 'horror' such as personal horror in the form of the terminal illness, spiritual horror in the form of Christopher and Simon, the vampires, and what constitutes real loss.
- Zoë, the main character, is always left alone in her house because her mom is in the hospital and her dad goes with her for support. She feels alone and unwanted by everyone, especially since her best friend Lorraine is moving. She has black hair that's a little bit curled and grey eyes.
- Lorraine, Zoë’s best friend, is going to leave soon and they will no longer be able to see each other.
- Zoë's mother is always in the hospital, due to her cancer, and she is never home to feed or watch Zoe.
- Zoë's father always seems to be too busy for Zoë because he is always looking after his wife. When he does talk with Zoë, it’s always short and they always end up in arguments.
- Simon is a 300-year-old vampire, and Zoë's love interest.
- Christopher is Simon's older brother, who is, for the most part, the antagonist of the story. He was responsible for changing Simon.
- The Summer Of Love: Decades before the event of The Silver Kiss, the vampire Simon, struggling with his thirst for blood ever since he became a vampire centuries ago. His journey as an immortal led him to San Francisco, meeting a girl named Avis, and an alleycat...
- The Christmas Cat: A year after the event of The Silver Kiss, Zoë enrolled in San Francisco State University, struggling of her feelings of missing Simon after witnessing his end, and of the cat she recently adopted.
The novel has been compared to the successful Twilight series as a vampire romance. It is important to note however that The Silver Kiss was written several years before Twilight, has been successful by its own merits. Klause has been said to have successfully integrated "gory details" into a "sensuous and suspenseful story." The novel has been cited in the psychology journal Adolescence as an example of literature that can help adolescents understand death, "enabling them to understand the impact of trauma and identify corrective responses."
- http://www.bookrags.com/studyguide-the-silver-kiss/#gsc.tab=0 accessdate =21 March 2015
- Cooper, Ilene (15 November 2005). "Meyer, Stephenie. Twilight.". Booklist. 102 (6): 58. Retrieved 10 March 2011.
- Zvirin, Stephanie (15 November 2000). "The Silver Kiss". Booklist. 97 (6): 632. Retrieved 10 March 2011.
- DeMinco, Sandrea (1995). "Young adult reactions to death in literature and in life". Adolescence. 30 (117): 179–185. Retrieved 14 March 2011.