Xysea 's Reviews > Slammerkin

Slammerkin by Emma Donoghue
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's review
May 27, 2008

really liked it
bookshelves: fiction, historical
Recommended to Xysea by: Bookmooch
Recommended for: those who enjoyed The Dress Lodger or The Crimson Petal & The WHite

Well, from all the books I've read about this time period, it has become alarmingly clear that a woman such as myself would not have existed back then.

Women were allowed only a few scripted roles, one of which was prostitute. For any woman who didn't find the confines of holy matrimony a sacrifice worth making, there was always the stree whore, the slammerkin, the dress lodger, the bar wench or the mistress. All were examples of the same thing; a woman who exchanged sexual relations for money and/or power (of a sort).

Most woman who chose door #2 often made bad ends; the heroine in this novel (or is that anti-heroine?) is no different. Probably some long hold-over (hangover?) from morality tales of the past. Like the Hayes Code for movies, if you will. A woman who sells herself for money can't possibly end up well off and comfortable, because that would promote such a thing, right? Right??

Other than that amount of predictability, this is a better-than-decent read. It flows pretty well, and our heroines adventures fly fairly high until the inevitable denouement.

You do care about the characters, for the most part. Though, not deeply. The comeuppance she receives doesn't encite schaudenfreude, rather a terse shake of the head - tsk, tsk.

Fans of historical novels, however, will likely enjoy it.
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Reading Progress

May 27, 2008 – Shelved
June 4, 2008 – Shelved as: fiction
June 4, 2008 – Shelved as: historical
Started Reading
June 7, 2008 – Finished Reading

Comments (showing 1-3 of 3) (3 new)

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message 1: by Debbie (new)

Debbie Moorhouse Woman who done wrong must die!

Xysea I know; it's a bit trite. lol

Not too many good books these days that effectively deal with an anti-heroine, though I noticed plenty that have anti-heroes.


Kate I was a bit disappointed by Mary's end as well, until I read that her story was inspired by a real person. That is what happened to the real Mary Saunders, so I think it's okay in this case.

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