Marigold's Reviews > The Republic of Love

The Republic of Love by Carol Shields
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's review
Nov 11, 2007

really liked it
Read in November, 2007

Loved it! I love love love Carol Shields, who wrote The Stone Diaries. This made me think of a Jane Austen novel, set in the modern world with modern characters & including the viewpoint of...shocking...the man! Fay is a folklorist with a fear of commitment. Tom is a late-night DJ with too much commitment & three ex-wives! What happens when they fall in love "at first sight"? Read & find out! Of all the writers I know of, I think Shields (who I believe passed away a year or two ago?) is one of the most insightful about love & romance in the modern world; she can write about it in all its absurdities without making it even more silly than it is! Years from now people will make films of her books the way we now make films of Jane Austen!
A quote I love: "It is impossible for us to live outside the culture we're born into. Our communities claim us from the start, extending a thousand tentacles of possession, & Fay, a reasonable, intelligent woman, has long recognized that reverence for individualism is one of the prime perversions of contemporary society. It is illogical and foolish. Oh, yes. We are bound to each other biologically and socially, intellectually and spiritually, and to abrogate our supporting network is to destroy ourselves." It's all about the world we live in, the world we move in, & how it affects us & creates & shapes us, whether we like it or not!
I love these characters, I actually related to both of them. I saw in Fay the intellectual woman who values her privacy & her time away from other people. She has a need for her own space & doesn't want others to get too close. But she also doesn't really like being alone! In Tom I saw the person who can sort of float through life being very accepting of the people & circumstances he finds around him. He likes people & likes women. "I like you, let's get married!" seems to be his outlook. When Fay's "let's think about this" meets up with Tom's "let's go with the flow", you can see that things won't go smoothly despite their overflowing love for one another. Yet Shields is able to give us an ending we can all cheer for!

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message 1: by Cari (new)

Cari Great Review, marigold :-)

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