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Search tags: The-Great-War
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review 2018-06-19 17:15
Dora Doralina / Rachel de Queiroz
Dora Doralina - Rachel de Queiroz

"What kills you today is forgotten tomorrow. I don't know if this is true or false because all that's real for me is remembrance." In her old age, Dora reflects on the major influences in her life: her mother, her career in the theater, and her one true love. Set in Brazil in the early part of the century, Dora, Doralina is a story about power. Through her fierce resistance to her mother and her later life as a working woman and widow, Doralina attempts to define herself in a time and culture which places formidable obstacles before women. Married off by her mother to a man she does not love, told what to wear and eat, Dora's reclaiming of herself is full of both discovery and rage. For her, independence is the right to protect herself and make her own choices. From a life confined by religion and "respectability," even her passionate attachment to a hard-drinking smuggler contains an act of free will previously unavailable to her. Dora, Doralina is an intimate, realistic, and vivid glimpse of one woman's struggle for independence, for a life in which she owns her actions, her pleasure, and her pain.

 

I read this book to fill the Q position in my quest to read women authors A-Z in 2018. I will honestly tell you that it is not a novel that I would naturally pick up so I probably didn’t appreciate it as much as someone who regularly reads literary fiction.

This is a character driven story which reads very much like an autobiography. It is basically a window into the world of women in Brazil in the first half of the twentieth century. Brazilian society, as in many societies at the time, is extremely macho and women don’t have all that much latitude.

The book is divided into three sections, representing three stages in the life of our narrator, Dora. The first section is Dora growing up and struggling with the control of her domineering mother. Dora refers to her as Senhora, not mother, and seems to be one of the only people in the household who longs for freedom. Dora ends up in a marriage which was more-or-less engineered by Senhora, and while she doesn’t mind her husband, she’s not desperately fond of him either. When he is killed, Dora takes a page from her mother’s playbook and uses her widowhood to give herself more freedom in the world.

The second section is Dora’s adventures in the world outside her mother’s farm. She finds employment and eventually ends up on stage, despite her shyness. She is both fiercely independent and highly reliant on her friends in the acting company, a duality that she freely acknowledges. And it is during her travels with the company that she meets the love of her life.

Part three is her life with The Captain. He reminded me of her first husband in several ways (his drinking, his macho possessiveness) but Dora’s feelings for him make the marriage an altogether different experience from the first.

Documenting women’s lives is an important pursuit, filling in the blanks of previously ignored reality. The novel also shows the particular barriers that many South American women are up against culturally.

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review 2018-06-18 22:08
Part of Summer Reading Goals
The Great New Orleans Kidnapping Case: Race, Law, and Justice in the Reconstruction Era - Michael A. Ross

Ross looks at a once famous case that has been largely forgotten by people today. A kidnapping of a young child who is later found with a black Creole. In discussing the case, Ross shows how Reconstruction, racism, and changing times influenced the case and its outcome. A very interesting and engrossing read. 

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text 2018-06-18 15:18
Reading progress update: I've read 86 out of 281 pages.
Dora Doralina - Rachel de Queiroz

 

And now for something completely different.

 

This Brazilian author gives us a window into women's lives in the early 20th century.  Published in 1975, when the feminist movement in North America was really getting going, it is an exploration of a Brazilian woman's search for independence and the right to run her own life.

 

 

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review 2018-06-17 22:13
Flat Stanley's Worldwide Adventures #2: The Great Egyptian Grave Robbery - Jeff Brown,Macky Pamintuan

For more reviews, check out my blog: Craft-Cycle

This was an okay read.

I think I was just too much in a rational mindset to enjoy this book. I can suspend my disbelief enough to accept that Stanley was flattened by a bulletin board while sleeping in the original book series. I can even pretend that you can send a flat human being through the US Postal Service. But I just can't get over the ridiculousness that Stanley's "goose disks" (flat goose bumps) would allow him to stick to walls like a starfish. He is wearing a long-sleeved shirt and pants. How does he have enough exposed skin to stick to the wall, ignoring the fact that human pores (even if flat) do not turn into suction cups? This was just too much for me. Apparently I am too much of a grown up for this part of the series. This whole thing just doesn't make sense. 

The entire book was pretty ridiculous with tons of plot holes. It is a pretty typical "Egyptian" story full of treasure in secret tombs and creepy mummies. There's a fairly predictable "twist", but the story seems kind of lazy. While there are some facts about Egypt at the end of the book, the story is based on various stereotypes and misunderstandings about Egypt. Though I have not been to Egypt, I don't think anyone there says "Holy sarcophagus!" This book is based on a very basic concept of Egypt, mainly that there are really old pyramids that people try to steal from. 

I actually really enjoyed the original Flat Stanley chapter book, but this one is just too ridiculous. It fells like an attempt to imitate the Magic Treehouse books, but is a complete failure. This thing makes no sense. Did not enjoy.

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review 2018-06-12 18:20
Overboard Comics
Overboard - Chip Dunham

I used to read Overboard everyday on the commuter train to Chicago and work. I just loved the adventures of pirates, The Catain, Nate, Boof, Charley, Seahawk and all the creatures they dealt with including The Green Ship, Sharks, Sea monsters, snakes and other denizens of the deep. I found these two books that contained reprints of the classic comics and they brought back lots of memories. We can always use a look chuckle. Thanks to Chip Dunham for his creativity.

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