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Search tags: Frances-Hodgson-Burnett
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review 2017-05-12 13:00
The Shuttle ★★★★☆
The Shuttle - Frances Hodgson Burnett

The best part of this book was the story of a smart and determined young woman who travels overseas to rescue her sister from the husband who broke her spirit with deliberate, methodical cruelty. The best (and most surprising) writing in this book is the examination of his cruelty and exposure of the methods of psychological warfare that are used to subjugate one’s partner. It was surprising, because this novel was written in the first decade of the 20th century, long before terms such as “gaslighting” were in common use. I believe the author was exorcising some demons from her own life, as it was written during her turbulent second marriage, to a man who reportedly was very controlling and attempted to wrest control of her own independent wealth.

 

I enjoyed the writing. It is endlessly quotable. 

 

But this novel is not perfect. It has all the challenges of reading 100+ year old literature, the narrative wanders all over the place, it contains some very odd themes with its love-fest of capitalism and comparisons of American industrialist energy to waning English aristocracy, and the last quarter of the story devolves into standard bullshit Romance tropes.

 

Nevertheless, I enjoyed it very much.

 

I read this for the 2017 Booklikes-opoly game, for square 15: “Additional Task: Read a book where someone gets married, with jewelry on the cover, or where any character is a millionaire/billionaire!” The story, on its surface, is of multimillionaire American heiresses of a business empire who marry into impoverished English aristocracy.

 

Previous Updates:

4/19/17 - http://sheric.booklikes.com/post/1554280/hp-s-bl-opoly-2nd-dice-roll

4/21/17 - http://sheric.booklikes.com/post/1554882/the-shuttle-progress-41-512-pg

4/21/17 - page 53 10.35% "It just occurred to me that the author started work on this book during her very short and apparently turbulent second marriage, to a man who reportedly was very controlling and attempted to take her money, which she had earned with her writing."

4/21/17 - http://sheric.booklikes.com/post/1554986/the-shuttle-progress-53-512-pg

4/22/17 - http://sheric.booklikes.com/post/1555085/the-shuttle-progress-99-512-pg

4/28/17 - http://sheric.booklikes.com/post/1558460/the-shuttle-progress-176-512-pg

4/29/17 - http://sheric.booklikes.com/post/1558785/the-shuttle-progress-242-512-pg

4/30/17 - http://sheric.booklikes.com/post/1558977/the-shuttle-progress-272-512-pg

4/30/17 - http://sheric.booklikes.com/post/1558994/the-shuttle-progress-277-512-pg

4/30/17 - http://sheric.booklikes.com/post/1559001/the-shuttle-progress-280-512-pg

5/8/17 - http://sheric.booklikes.com/post/1561332/the-shuttle-progress-298-512-pg

5/9/17 - http://sheric.booklikes.com/post/1561502/the-shuttle-progress-303-512-pg

5/9/17 - http://sheric.booklikes.com/post/1561506/the-shuttle-progress-304-512-pg

5/9/17 - http://sheric.booklikes.com/post/1561566/the-shuttle-progress-350-512-pg

5/11/17 - http://sheric.booklikes.com/post/1561965/the-shuttle-progress-433-512-pg

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text 2017-05-11 15:19
The Shuttle - progress 433/512 pg
The Shuttle - Frances Hodgson Burnett

As Betty's father is pondering the possibility of a bright and sensible young woman falling in love with a cruel or unprincipled man:

 

He had lived long enough to see beautiful, strong-spirited creatures do strange things, follow strange gods, swept away into seas of pain by strange waves.

 

I've been enjoying this book, but am glad I'm getting close to the end. It's been a long, slow read, because baseball season has been cutting into my reading time, but this is engaging enough to keep me reading at least a little bit every day. And I'm looking forward to my next BL-opoly roll and picking my next book!

 

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text 2017-05-09 20:37
The Shuttle - progress 350/512 pg
The Shuttle - Frances Hodgson Burnett

"I have never objected to the devil," said Betty. "He is an energetic, hard-working creature and paints himself an honest black."

 

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text 2017-05-09 15:04
The Shuttle - progress 304/512 pg
The Shuttle - Frances Hodgson Burnett

He was really very fond of his temper, and rather enjoyed referring to it with tolerant regret as being a bad one and beyond his control - with a manner which suggested that the attribute was the inevitable result of strength of character and masculine spirit. The luxury of giving way to it was a great one, and it was exasperating as he walked about with this handsome girl to find himself beginning to suspect that, where she was concerned, some self-control might be necessary. 

 

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text 2017-05-09 14:59
The Shuttle - progress 303/512 pg
The Shuttle - Frances Hodgson Burnett

His personal theories concerning women presented to him two or three effective ways of managing them. You made love to them, you flattered them either subtly or grossly, you roughly or smoothly bullied them, or you harrowed them with haughty indifference - if your love-making had produced its proper effect - when it was necessary to lure or drive or trick them into submission. Women should be made useful in one way or another. 

 

It's fascinating to me that a book written in 1907, which has a strong element of genre Romance to it, deals so directly with the ways in which men attempt to dominate and control women. The author really appears to be exorcising her own demons in writing this story. 

 

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