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url 2014-09-09 19:03
Wikipedia: Julie d'Aubigny

"Julie d'Aubigny (1673 – 1707), better known as Mademoiselle Maupin or La Maupin, was a 17th-century swordswoman and opera singer."


One event from her youth, according to Wikipedia:


"Eventually, she grew bored of Sérannes and became involved with a young woman. When the girl's parents put her away in the Visitandines convent in Avignon, Maupin followed, entering the convent as a postulant. In order to run away with her new love, she stole the body of a dead nun, placed it in the bed of her lover, and set the room on fire to cover their escape. Their affair lasted for three months before the young lady returned to her family. Maupin was charged in absentia—as a male—with kidnapping, body snatching, arson, and failing to appear before the tribunal. The sentence was death by fire."


Wow. If I read that in a fiction book, I would say it's over-the-top and difficult to believe.


Theophile Gautier's Mademoiselle de Maupin is loosely based on her and is available in English via Manybooks.net. I might give it a try.

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review 2014-08-27 20:40
Attachments - Rainbow Rowell

We hope you have enjoyed our presentation of Attachments: A Novel by Rainbow Rowell says the audiobook reader at the end of the book.

No. No, I really haven't. Thank you, though.

Hello, I am the Lone Dissenter.
I am here to say that I know what this book should have done for me and why I should have completely loved it. I know why it appeals to everyone else and their sisters. I get all that. And yet...

See, here's my problem: This book runs parallel to my back-then life; the characters are my age, I lived through Y2K in a very similar fashion, I've done the e-mailing daily conversations to work friends in the late 90's, I've both e-stalked someone and given them all the attributes I wanted them to have and then fallen in love with the creature I created in my head and I've had it done to me (which resulted in real, actual stalking and was scary as hell), I've spent time in Nebraska (waaay too much time), I've stopped my life to live for someone else, someone who didn't love me like I loved him...everything in this story was incredibly relatable when seen through the goggles of my own history.
And I hated it.

I think maybe I'd have liked this had it actually been written in 2000 and had I read it then. Maybe I would have found it sweet and not unhealthy. Had this come out around the same time as Bridget Jones, I'm sure I'd have gobbled it up as a read-alike and been completely delighted.

It's too late for me, though. It's not too late for all of you who have not become cynical, bitter curmudgeons, for those of you who still think someone counter-stalking their stalker is romantic, for those of you who don't need their characters to have self-worth or to be strong or to not be unknowingly beautiful. For those of you who wonder why Beth and Jennifer don't have any other friends.

I thought chapter 88 was going to pull things around, put it all into perspective. (view spoiler)
It didn't work out that way and I was left disappointed.

This wasn't the story for me. It was and is, however, a wonderful story for many other readers and I appreciate that.

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review 2014-02-23 06:43
Life Drawings- Philip Newey


 This is a study of a mix of characters in life's emotional pressure-cooker, the boiling mass of hormones, memories, fears and pains that make us all. We come to know the two main characters very well and to build convincing pictures of many of those around them. We see that we often become far more than we might expect, through the quagmire of interactions we experience with others. Even the meek may learn to kill. Sometimes, we eventually break away from the bonds of our past, to be relatively free agents, and sometimes the past eventually destroys us.
   This is a well written look into the emotional turmoil of a group of intimately and sometimes unavoidably knotted together lives. We actually get some way to actually feeling what it is like to be someone else, to be submerged into the books characters. One can ask little more from such a book. We have all experienced some of this and others have lived lives far closer to this particular emotional mix than we may allow ourselves to admit. Most of you may guess the books direction accurately, but that makes it no less intriguing because this knowledge probably means that to some degree you have actually walked some of the steps.
     I recommend this book for those that enjoy a book where what happens is seen with all its drivers, rather than with just those dictated by the narrow entertainment of vivid plot. These are drawings in which we see so many crossing character lines rather than an easily analysed photograph. I enjoyed this book very much.


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