Emily's Reviews > Slammerkin

Slammerkin by Emma Donoghue
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Nov 18, 07

it was ok
Read in January, 2004

** spoiler alert ** Again, I really don't like historical novels. I keep having to read them for my book club and I continue to not really like them. The "history" is that a maid killed her mistress back in the 1700s. The rest is this whole story about a girl who was raped and thrown out and forced to become a prostitute on the streets of London. She tries to redeem her life by going to New England and becoming a maid for a seamstress. but then she gets extremely greedy and becomes a prostitute again and kills her mistress. I think what I really don't like about historical novels is that they really seem to be an attempt to rewrite history. Often they are about these really modern day women put into the past. These characters often just seem really out of place because they have today's values in a world where everyone else is portrayed as basically evil because they have the values of the time period in which the book is set. Maybe this book isn't so guilty of this than other books. But ut was like that in March, where the main character was this equal rights vegan in 1865 south. It's weird. But I do feel that historical fiction is guilty of trying to make a totally fictional story have more credence by making it "based on a true story". Still this book was entertaining and made having sex with prostitutes in 1700s London seem really gross.
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message 1: by Jason (new) - added it

Jason "These characters often just seem really out of place because they have today's values in a world where everyone else is portrayed as basically evil because they have the values of the time period in which the book is set. " i think that there are people in every generation that have this mode of operation or reference point. I dont think its exclusive to today's activism. We can look at any high school history class for examples of people such as this, as well as in our own modern society.


message 2: by Jason (new) - added it

Jason also, try Alias Grace. see what you think.


Shenna I know this review was written a while ago, but I didn't see Mary as greedy. She did was she did because she was ambitious and being a prostitute was the only way she knew to make money. I would have killed that uppity bitch too for putting my hard earned money in the poor box because her conscious was dirtied.


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