Sucks you in from the first page with plain, powerful prose. Winterson describes her childhood with her ba...more"She was a monster. But she was my monster."
Sucks you in from the first page with plain, powerful prose. Winterson describes her childhood with her batty, Apocalypse-obsessed evangelical Christian adopted mother, experiences previously fictionalized in more comforting guise in her book Oranges Are Not the Only Fruit. She manages to convey how big a nut her mother really was, but also her love, pity, and understanding for this strange, sad, and isolated woman, feelings which took some distance, processing, and her own spate of madness to develop.
It's also a great testimony to how literature (and public libraries) can save you. I was impressed with, maybe a little envious of, Winterson's drive toward life and joy. (less)
Though it was printed in very nice paperstock, this book was not for me. Narrator's self-dramatizing, hyper-verbose, myth making style sandpapered my...moreThough it was printed in very nice paperstock, this book was not for me. Narrator's self-dramatizing, hyper-verbose, myth making style sandpapered my gorge.
There were some parts that felt too true, though. 1) even hipster girls are suckers for popular athletes with physical grace and a nice pair of shoulders 2) Min's impulse to explain and outwit her past misjudgments 3) Min's lengthy expressions of misery and self-loathing as a reaction to their breakup 4) how when you're falling in love, every moment becomes crystalline and hyper real and you do remember everything, ESPECIALLY if it all goes to poops.
And while this did not feel true, Ed's apology for telling his friends she did "everything but" should have made any girl agree to stick around, simply to reward him for coming up with such a romantic line.
"'I want to tell you something,' you said, before I could decide which scathing line I'd been polishing to use first. You held both hands in front of you, spread out, a filthy streak on one palm, like I was about to roll a boulder on you. I stepped back and you stayed there, you stood your ground in the blaring battlefield, and you began to count on your fingers, counting the number of times you were saying what you were saying, both hands twice and then almost again. It was the only thing you could say, the perfect thing, is what you said. I'm sorry. I'm sorry. I'm sorry.... 'Twenty-six,' you said. 'One for each day we’ve been together, Min.' Somebody oohed. Somebody shushed them. 'And I hope that someday I’ll do another something stupid and I’ll have to say it a million times because that’s how long it’ll be, together with you, Min. With you.'
You great big liar, Ed! Nonetheless, props are due where props are due. (less)
I liked this second of the dressmakers trilogy better than the first. Not as many phony French-isms, a...moreSatin seems like a challenging fabric to wear.
I liked this second of the dressmakers trilogy better than the first. Not as many phony French-isms, a smoothly written read that moves along at a swift clip. Neither the girl Sophy nor Longmore were quite distinctive enough for me to root for them, but was captivated by the scenes in which Sophy explains to the obtuse male aristocrat Longmore how limited women's lives are, whether they're in the upper or lower classes, and how hard the latter really have to work. I also liked how she articulated the ideal customer service philosophy for those in retail:
"[the French salesclerk's] poise didn't falter although her welcoming smile did, a little, as she took in Sophy/Gladys... Subtle as the rebuff was, it wouldn't be too subtle for a sensitive soul... The Frenchwoman shouldn't have given any sign of dismay. She should have looked as delighted to see her as she would to see Queen Adelaide. Many specimens as unpromising as the faux Gladys came into dressmakers' shops. How one served them made all the difference in the world. The Frenchwoman seemed to see Lady Gladys Fairfax as an ordeal to endure, rather than as an inviting challenge, as Sophy and her sisters would view her. Their faces would have lit up when she stepped through the door" (83).
So, I request more reasonable discussions of class resentment and effective female entrepreneurship in romance novels, please. (less)