Learner’s The Witch of Cologne is an erotically-charged novel of people swept inexorably along by events they could not control. In Soul, Learner relates the story of Lavinia and Julia Huntington, passionate women trapped in emotional whirlpools that threaten to drown them and everyone they love.
In 19th century Britain, Lavinia is married to an older man who seems to appr...more
Tobsha Learner is probably best well-known for her book of erotic short stories, Quiver, and her previous novel, The Witch of Cologne - neither of which I've read, but I'd sure like to...more
I truly did not like this book, the premise, the characters (mostly), nor the writing. But, the image from the very first scene pulled me in just enough to get me to read all the way through, hoping for more of the same. It came in bits and pieces, and so I was quite disappointed.
I should also give some warnings: this book is a romance (that may be enough to stop many people). The story involves "justified" murder. The story includes a few fairly graphic sex scenes (I've...more
To start with, for anyone who might be tempted to pick up this book, I would like to point out that this was published b...more
It just wasn't what I hoped it would be. The story moves back and forth between two periods of time. In one strand of the book, we have a modern, female geneticist, Julia, who is studying a possible genetic link for people who can kill without remorse(defense department funded to see if they can screen soldiers to remove/reduce PTSD). The first we see of her in the book is a scene, set in Afghanistan, in which Julia and her soldier escorts are ambushed. The two soldier...more
There are two heroines in this novel, an...more
In twenty-first-century Los Angeles, Julia Huntington studies the human genome, seeking the origins of human emotion. As passionate about her marriage to her beloved Klaus as she is about her life's work, Julia is delighted to discover that...more
The other storyline is set in the 19th century, where Julia's great-great-grandmother Lavinia marries the man she loved, is bitterly betrayed by him and is later tried for his murder. We are left wondering, did Lavinia do it? C...more
Had to disregard any part where she mentioned ages and dates as the time-frame errors bothered me.
The switching back and forth between the two storylines can be a bit much. The science of the book was interesting and something to contemplate as more and more of human traits are assigned a number of genes in our DNA as the cause. If we know that our genes can cause us to behave a certain way are we then self fated or does choice still...more
I wasn't surprised to learn that Tobsha Learner is a screenwriter- this novel often rea...more
I was putting off the reading book every time I read the first 2 chapters. I thought I wasn't ready for some heavy prose then. And it paid off because I was able to appreciate the whole book. It took me a long time to finish because I was savoring...more
I like Learner's voice and I enjoy meditations on nature vs. nurture. However, while Learner's opinion on the matter is clear by the end, I would have preferred that it feel more applicable to hu...more
Wonderful main characters! Raised such interesting questions regarding nature vs nurture, genetic predisposition and free will, the effect personal liberty (or the lack thereof) has on free will. Still thinking about it weeks after fin...more
But like I parenthesised, way too time-stamped. Who are these people and events you are referencing, totally dating and damaging your prose with, m'dear? Oh wait, they are so obvious I cannot miss them. The past bits are bet...more