Love prudently. This is what Nathaniel's mother has told him throughout his life. He and his parents live modestly in a vicarage, his mother unwelcome to her family because she married below her. But as Natty gets older and his mother slowly starts reconciling with her family, Natty is exposed to his cousins' rich world. When he is seventeen, he goes traveling with his youngest cousin, and is introduced to Miles Lovell.
Natty is drawn to Mr. Lovell for reasons he cannot explain, and finds himself struggling with his mother's growing coldness. Then, when he seems to hit his lowest points, a ghost of a woman appears to him. He's certain that she is a bad omen, but isn't sure what she is supposed to foretell as he struggles with lies and deceptions while combating his own feelings.
Banshee is an interesting and thoughtful read, with dashes of supernatural intrigue and suspense. It is also a coming of age novel as Natty struggles to find his own identity and at the same time keep his reputation and please his family. Sometimes his narration seems rather slow, but all in all Banshee is an intriguing and captivating novel as Natty learns the true meaning of loving prudently and struggles to forge his own way in a world that is very closed off to gay men. The novel is also full of historical details that are cleverly interspersed throughout the book so as to not make the story seem too didactic. There's a little something for everyone in Thorne's Banshee.