Laura's Reviews > The White Mary

The White Mary by Kira Salak
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it was ok

So, I read this for my book group, which is 9 women in their mid-60s and me. The woman who chose this one has always been rich (she told me once that she has never not had a housekeeper) and until recently did a lot of "exotic" foreign travel. This book seems to suit her very well... and I kind of hated it. A Czech-American war reporter travels to Papua New Guinea to find one of her journalism idols who disappeared. She leaves behind a too-good-to-be-true boyfriend in Boston who was *dramatic voice* the only person who ever cared about her after the death of her father.

I kind of hated the characters. The protagonist was stoic to the point of being unrelatable and unbelievable. She made such ridiculous choices that I think I would have just left her in the jungle. The boyfriend was too good to be true. The rock star journalist is kind of an ass.

I think that it is very, very difficult to write a book about a white person interacting with isolated indigenous people without being offensive. This book did pretty well for a while, but still fell short. I guess you could say it was the character being offensive and it was a character flaw/trait, but... I'm not buying it. She seems to have a very, very hard time ever understanding that other people do things differently. It's not for you to freak out about. You are the guest here (in Papua New Guinea), lady. And THEN, it ends with a "they have such simple lives! We should all be more like them!" message that...yech.

And, way too much graphic sex for my tastes.

The good, which I haven't mentioned: It was a quick read and was well-paced. It should make an interesting discussion. It's always good when people don't like the book group book; it gives us more to talk about.
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Reading Progress

April 2, 2013 – Started Reading
April 2, 2013 – Shelved
April 2, 2013 – Finished Reading

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