Timothy Schirmer's Reviews > Two Serious Ladies

Two Serious Ladies by Jane Bowles
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's review
Jun 22, 2012

really liked it
Read from June 14 to 22, 2012

‘Two Serious Ladies’ reminds me a lot of a Jean Luc Goddard film; the characters sort of drift through questionable dream-like situations with little to any direct clues as to what their motives or desires might be. While I appreciated the subtle and dark nature of this book, stretches of the story were perhaps too subtle and mysterious for my taste.

The main Character, Christina, sells her beautiful East Coast home to live on a miserable island in a ramshackle farmhouse with people who are more or less strangers. The book’s second protagonist, Mrs. Copperfield, begrudgingly accompanies her husband on a journey to South America, only to become obsessed with a prostitute in Panama. Mrs. Copperfield would rather spend her every waking moment with this girl, Pacifica, than exploring Central America with her husband.

I was constantly surprised by the way these two ladies continually put themselves in harm’s way, constantly lowering themselves, and for what? Though near the end of the book, I do think that Jane Bowels masterfully intimates why these two ladies, who were perhaps bored and nervous, cocooned in their comfortable lives, chose to unstitch their versions of reality for a very raw alternative.

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