rabbitprincess's Reviews > The Moonlit Cage

The Moonlit Cage by Linda Holeman
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's review
Mar 08, 2009

it was amazing
bookshelves: borrowed, 2009, family-friends-acquaintances-recs
Recommended to rabbitprincess by: Chelle
Recommended for: readers who like strong female characters, rich description
Read in September, 2009

** spoiler alert ** What an emotional journey this book takes you on. The protagonist is Daryâ, an Afghan girl who begins her tale by saying she has always been told she was wicked. She is not a meek, obedient girl -- she is inquisitive and stubborn. She has an excellent voice and her description of her experiences is very evocative. I loved her descriptions of the landscapes she passed through and the scenes of quiet domesticity. But her life is rather tough in places and downright harrowing in others -- her time with Osric Bull toward the end of the book prompted horror and outrage on my part. I couldn't read fast enough to get away from his depravity and wickedness, taking advantage of a woman because she has no other choice. By this point (which is pretty close to the end) I had become so emotionally invested in Daryâ that it made me cry to think that Osric had gotten the better of her. Fortunately, her strength and a fortuitous rescue pull her through. Yay!

Actually, this book is an important reminder for women in more affluent societies that not so long ago things were not very good for our sex. Imagine being treated as a man's possession, good only for producing children sons and not being able to fend for yourself, not even being able to travel unaccompanied by a man. The men in this book were jerks for the most part, except for Kaled and David. Oh and Govind. Kaled was great. He was wise and reasonable, while his son, the man Daryâ is married to (it's an arranged match), is a second son who feels inferior and takes it out on his wife. She's his third wife, he's never had kids, and he blames her. Sure she has a curse of childlessness put on her by her dad's second wife, but you have to think that hubby can bear some of the blame for the lack of children. Well, he can't think that, but the reader certainly can.

In any case, if you enjoy gripping personal stories, strong female characters who face tough choices, literature set in Victorian times, and evocative description, pick this book up.
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Reading Progress

09/16/2009 page 65 "Surprisingly absorbing so far."
09/17/2009 page 156 "Very, VERY descriptive writing. Almost too descriptive at some parts..."
09/18/2009 page 209 "Some interesting thoughts on personal beliefs."
09/21/2009 page 295 "The vivid writing continues to captivate me."
09/22/2009 page 333 "In Bombay now." 1 comment
09/23/2009 page 385 "Boat travel must have been quite horrifying in those days."
09/24/2009 page 432 "Ew lecherous old man."
09/25/2009 page 544 "What an exciting conclusion!"

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