Dwan Tape's Reviews > City of Women

City of Women by David R. Gillham
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's review
May 15, 2012

liked it
Read from May 15 to 20, 2012

Well-written prose, hence the 4th star. I struggled a bit with the story itself (I would not have made the same interpersonal relationship choices), but that's my personal preference and not a fault of the plot.

Edited to add - dropped the star rating down - feel like I've been over-rating. It's a good, promising first read, but I struggled with the characters.

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Reading Progress

05/16/2012 page 35
05/17/2012 page 107
27.0% "Quite compelling."
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Comments (showing 1-9 of 9) (9 new)

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Elise That looks like my kind of book!

Dwan Tape It's good - he's a promising new writer, I think.

Elise What do you mean? I loved the characters. I questioned some of Sigrid's choices less because she literally lived with bombs dropping from the sky daily, and each and every day could have very well been her last. I sympathized with her.

Dwan Tape I'm always super careful reviewing an ARC - as I'm reading an unfinished galley, ahead of a book's release, I like to review lightly.

When I was reading it, I wondered at the main character's choices - unhappy or not, I would not have made them myself. I could intellectually get my head around her choices, but at the same time, her highly charged sexuality seemed a bit prurient, like the author was exploring his own sexual fantasy

While the book is a fascinating look at an under-explored perspective on WWII, I found her dalliances distracting, even though they were relevant to moving the plot forward. On a related note, there are few folks that come in the store that I've been able to recommend this book to - either the topic is not interesting to someone, or it's interesting and they aren't looking for something steamy. Hasn't sold well here at all.

Elise I guess I'm a freak, but I like sex in my novels. And think about it, if you thought every day would be your last (and you were married to a passionless and absent husband), you wouldn't just stop having sex, right? Okay, maybe that was TMI, but I found that scene very moving where Sigrid surrenders to Egon knowing full well that he is a Jew and that she is breaking a law that could get her killed when she gives herself to him--the stuff of a great book, IMO.

message 6: by Dwan (last edited Jan 01, 2013 08:30AM) (new) - rated it 3 stars

Dwan Tape Nah, I'm all for sex in a book, too. I think it can be a great, healthy part of a narrative. ^_^ But, yeah, while I consider my libido nice and healthy, I wouldn't dally, regardless. It's just the way I roll, I guess.

Also - what I mean by prurience: the sex (to me) reads more like the interests of the author versus what (to me) it seemed like Sigrid would dig. I found the tone of it distracting. That's all. I'm no prude. XD

Dwan Tape Running late for work, but let me add an example - Jonathon Tropper's main character in This Is Where I Leave You - that felt like more genuine sexuality. Of course, that was a male, so who knows.....

message 8: by Elise (last edited Jan 01, 2013 10:30AM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Elise Well, I really don't know if I would "dally" or not, because I have never actually been in a situation as dire as Sigrid's, and I have a husband who is enthusiastic in the sack. ;) Maybe I like the book so much because I am way too much of a goody two-shoes to do what she did. Reading books where I can live vicariously though characters who do these things keeps me honest. :) My point was that I could certainly sympathize with her actions given her situation, and I didn't find anything about the sex scenes in the book twisted, self-indulgent, or gratuitous. That's all I'm saying.

Dwan Tape XD I feel like we're off on a tangent here. Love ya, grrlie.

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