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(seriously, I don't have a pithy summary for a review better that it's own title)
I had a total blast.
I love Heyer's harebrained MC's, and Sophy is an order of magnitude on any of hers I've read. I had so much fun with the way she's completely on top of all the chaos she sows around while working to set things as they should go, and I knew the ride I was setting myself to as soon as she appears, but even more when her friends start popping up and you realize they like her, respect her, will help her, but pray not to be the focus of her arrangements.
I also love all her side characters in all their glorious follies. I even enjoyed Eugenia, because she was such a perfect foil.
It's not that the end is in any way unexpected, but the getting there was hilarious and entertaining. I totally get why it's a favourite Heyer now. It's certainly elbowing up there in the podium.
Do I dare call this full of symbolism, and therefore feel the need to scratch under the surface of these tales? Then again, is there any fairy tale worth it's salt that is not so.
Lets start saying that the way this is written is incredibly sensual. I was surprised because I was sure the first tale (The Bloddy Chamber), would turn up into a hardcore purple prose BDSM. It does not become explicit, but the erotic charge and the tug of war between desire for freedom and sexual or base hungers, innocence and a curiousity for corruption, is heavy and all encompassing on that one and several others in this collection (The Tiger's Bride, The Erl-king).
Puss in Boots was hilarious in all it's terribleness. Not one character in it can be called good, our narrator least of all, and yet. Lots of laughing OMG, no!
The Snow Child was... How do you pack it that fast? It takes infinitely more to unpack.
All of them are incredibly evocative. Also disturbing. Oh, and they screw with your mind with the POVs and tenses too.
I'm a still quite discombobulated by much of this, and I'm pretty certain I don't get even most of what this is conveying, but frankly, at some point I started researching some fairy-tale stuff for background, and found out there are whole freaking books essaying on the meanings of this collection, so I reckon I'm good enough just keeping it floating on the back-burners of my mind.
I don't really know what to say about this book, literature-wise. What I know is that it touched me. I left a comment over halfway through, about crying to the beat of the lifting bits, and negative spaces, and I don't know if I'm capable of doing it more justice.
There was a lot that kept crashing over and over, in the echoes of lines and themes through the ages, and stays with me: Freedom as owning yourself. Freedom being necessary to be able to love. What can't be borne, what breaks you, the sequels, the need sometimes to leave the past buried. This idea:
“You your best thing, Sethe. You are.”
And this idea:
For years Paul D believed schoolteacher broke into children what Garner had raised into men. And it was that that made them run off. Now, plagued by the contents of his tobacco tin, he wondered how much difference there really was between before schoolteacher and after. Garner called and announced them men—but only on Sweet Home, and by his leave. Was he naming what he saw or creating what he did not? That was the wonder of Sixo, and even Halle; it was always clear to Paul D that those two were men whether Garner said so or not.
But over all, this:
“Here,” she said, “in this here place, we flesh; flesh that weeps, laughs; flesh that dances on bare feet in grass. Love it. Love it hard. Yonder they do not love your flesh. They despise it. They don’t love your eyes; they’d just as soon pick em out. No more do they love the skin on your back. Yonder they flay it. And O my people they do not love your hands. Those they only use, tie, bind, chop off and leave empty. Love your hands! Love them. Raise them up and kiss them. Touch others with them, pat them together, stroke them on your face ’cause they don’t love that either. You got to love it, you! And no, they ain’t in love with your mouth. Yonder, out there, they will see it broken and break it again. What you say out of it they will not heed. What you scream from it they do not hear. What you put into it to nourish your body they will snatch away and give you leavins instead. No, they don’t love your mouth. You got to love it. This is flesh I’m talking about here. Flesh that needs to be loved. Feet that need to rest and to dance; backs that need support; shoulders that need arms, strong arms I’m telling you. And O my people, out yonder, hear me, they do not love your neck unnoosed and straight. So love your neck; put a hand on it, grace it, stroke it and hold it up. And all your inside parts that they’d just as soon slop for hogs, you got to love them. The dark, dark liver—love it, love it, and the beat and beating heart, love that too. More than eyes or feet. More than lungs that have yet to draw free air. More than your life-holding womb and your life-giving private parts, hear me now, love your heart. For this is the prize.”
|For more reviews, check out my blog: Craft-Cycle
So glad I finally got around to reading Squirrel Girl. It was everything I didn't know I was missing in my life.
I absolutely loved this book. It was punny and amazing with great artwork and hilarious dialogue. So fantastic. Squirrel Girl is the best.
At the bottom of the pages are some sneakily included narration lines that are seriously funny. The graphic novel also included letters from fans and responses as well are awesome cover variant. They even included Squirrel Girl's first appearance, which was interesting to see.
Loved this and can't wait to read the next one. My only regret is that I got this from the library and now I have to actually go out and buy the entire series. Oh well, good problem to have I guess.
Squirrel Girl fan for life!