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I do not think I can adequately express my feelings for this book. So I will just say that I find Egypt fascinating and love to learn anything I can about its history. I also love women and stories of empowerment and the fight for that power. This encapsulates both. It was well researched, well written and the author did the narration herself and while it wasn't spectacular it was what I expected for something so academic.
I read this in college and it opened my eyes, on finding a copy on our first venture out this past weekend in a second hand shop I figured it was time to give it another go since I've read a few of the original Nancy Drews now.
'Girl Sleuth' traces the history of the 'Nancy Drew' series from its genesis in a memo from the Stratemeyer Syndicate to the cultural momentum Nancy Drew had achieved by the end of the 20th century. The focus is on the original author of the series, Mildred Wirt Benson, and editor Harriet Adams Stratemeyer who shepherded the series and, infamously, revised the original books and claimed sole authorship for decades.
The story is a fascinating one. It is very hard to feel sympathy for Adams, but Rehak does a fine job on Adams' background and restrictions and the hardships she faced as a woman in a man's industry. Benson, on the other hand, was an amazing woman who would be noteworthy even without her having ghost-written Nancy. A journalist, pilot and - though she refused the title - feminist who paved the way for many after her.
I would have liked there to have been more discussion of the racism and classism inherent in the books written in the '30s and '40s. How much was present in the Stratemeyer outlines that Benson couldn't deviate from, written by Harriet and her sister for the most part, and how much did Benson add? Rehak goes straight into the era when the books needed to be revised. Those images, stereotypes and ideas were a part of the times, but they were not mandatory. Did Benson ever make a statement of regret? Did Adams?
Still a good read for those of us who can't get enough.
Ed Edwards is a used car salesman sent to repossess a car. His life is never the same!
Ed's life is nothing to brag about-hell, he sells used cars after all. He's a combat veteran that served in Korea and he has seen some things. When he's sent to the house of Frank and Nancy Craig to take back the car they haven't paid for, he cannot help but give Nancy a second look-maybe even a third. Nancy tells him how terrible Frank is, how he's a philanderer, a no-good wife beater and an alcoholic. Before you know it, Nancy and Ed concoct a scheme to knock Frank off and we're off to the races! Are they successful? Will they live happily ever after together? You'll have to read this to find out!
With a serious James M. Cain vibe, (DOUBLE INDEMNITY, especially), the reader knows from the outset that things aren't going to go smoothly. In true Lansdale style though, one cannot guess just how far off the rails this plan went. Dealing with so many problems, racism being one of them, his boss dying yet another, you can't help but feel a little sorry for Ed. He's not the best guy in the world, but when he goes to visit his mother, we can see he did pretty well considering where he started.
Every twist and turn adds another new aspect to the tale, until as Ed himself says:
"One thing weighs on the other, and finally it all just gets too heavy."
I loved how everything came together in the end because it wasn't all dolled up in a new dress. The finale was true to the story, painful and harsh. I loved it.
Joe Lansdale is a national treasure. In any genre, in anything he sets his mind to he has a distinctive voice. It's one I've grown to love over the years and I'll bet you love it too if you decide to give his books a try. I recommend all of them!
Available July 21st, but you can pre-order here: MORE BETTER DEALS
*Thanks to Joe Lansdale, Mulholland Books and NetGalley for the digital copy in exchange for my honest feedback. This is it!*