Brian James's Reviews > The Girl Beneath the Lion

The Girl Beneath the Lion by André Pieyre de Mandiargues
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Nov 14, 11

bookshelves: ru
Read from November 04 to 12, 2011

Not a novel for plot obsessed readers, this is a book of lyrical descriptions and flights of language meant to subdue the reader, bathing them in the lush landscapes, both physical and psychological, until he or she becomes as enraptured as the story's main character. At it's core The Girl Beneath the Lion is a book about the sexual awakening of a young girl. As she struggles to come to terms with her desires, the novel captures the fear and excitement of this period flawlessly. My only issue with the book stems from the manner in which she chooses to enact her fantasies. In many ways it reads like a male wish-fulfillment rather than a teenage girl's. Though the author does a fine job of justifying her need for submission with mythical images, and to some extent puts her entirely in control of the event even in her submissive role, the nature of her fantasy feels a little off. It's a testament to the power of the prose that this could easily be overlooked as one is swept away in the beauty of the writing.
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