17 Jan 2016

LAMB - BONNIE NADZAM

SUMMARY
'She was coming toward him in a crooked purple tube top and baggy shorts and brassy sandals studded with rhinestones. She carried a huge pink patent-leather purse and was possibly the worst thing he'd seen all day. 'Hi.' She had a little gap between her teeth, and her eyes were wide set, and she had one of those noses with perfectly round nostrils. She was a pale little freckled pig with eyelashes. 'I'm supposed to ask you for a cigarette.' This ugly kid before Lamb was obviously the brunt of a joke. Stupid. And reckless. Had they any idea who he was? Why he was standing alone in a black suit? What kind of heart, if any, hung inside him? And how was this not a joke on him? He took a pull on his own cigarette and put it out on the bottom of his beautifully polished shoe.' 

Tommie is eleven. Lamb is a middle-aged man. He is convinced that he can help her avoid a destiny of apathy and emptiness. He even comes to believe that his devotion is in her best interest.

REVIEW
Having previously read the like of Lolita, The End of Alice and Tiger Tiger, I thought that Lamb would be another of that genre, and to an extent it is, but it's more than that. It starts out more more innocently.

When David first befriends Tommy is seems that he connects with her on a more simplistic level. He has recently lot his father, his marriage is over and he's reaching a midlife crisis. Tommy is fun. She is the child he has never had. He helps her with her troubled home life by making her imagine something better. He want to help her as a father would, doesn't he?

New Additions - January 2016

  
  

13 Jan 2016

TARGETED AND TROLLED - ROSALYN WARREN

SUMMARY
A feminist campaigner is sent death threats online at a rate of over fifty-per-hour. A woman who shares on social media her experience of rape, so that others might feel brave enough to speak out, is bombarded with abusive messages. More than a hundred female celebrities have their personal nude photographs stolen and published by hackers. The victims of these stories of trolling and internet crimes have just one thing in common: their gender. 

Most of us use the internet every day, but we rarely stop and think about the way we are received there and whether the treatment of women online differs from the treatment of men. As a Buzzfeed journalist, Rossalyn Warren has first-hand experience of the sexism and misogyny targeted at women online – the insults about their appearance, the rape threats, and in some instances even stalking.
In Targeted and Trolled, Warren exposes the true extent of the global problem. Informative, empowering and inspiring, this book is both a shocking revelation of the scale of the problem and a message of hope about how men and women are working together to fight back against the trolls.

REVIEW
As a woman I have been very fortunate. I currently work in an environment (bookselling) that is possibly the most liberal workplace on the high street. At the end of 2015 we were lucky enough to have our giant shop refitted and I was one of the few booksellers on the building site to help stock my Children's floor. 

During the refit we were overrun by builders, as you can imagine, who in the name of being Gentlemen felt they should ask me if I need help even if I was carrying a small cardboard box. hey found this hilariously funny. You might think Bookselling is a a delicate, intellectual job. Most of the time it is the complete opposite. I get grubby, injured and I carry boxes that are full of hardbacks and incredibly heavy. And even though I'm a woman and I'm small, I can do it. I don't need a man to move a paint can because he thinks being a lady I shouldn't have to. I don't see this as being a gentleman, it is being a d*ck.

7 Jan 2016

PROPERTY - VALERIE MARTIN

SUMMARY
Manon Gaudet is unhappily married to the owner of a Louisiana sugar plantation. She misses her family and longs for the vibrant lifestyle of her native New Orleans, but most of all, she longs to be free of the suffocating domestic situation. The tension revolves around Sarah, a slave girl who may have been given to Manon as a wedding present from her aunt, whose young son Walter is living proof of where Manon's husband's inclinations lie. 

This private drama is being played out against a brooding atmosphere of slave unrest and bloody uprisings. And if the attacks reach Manon's house, no one can be sure which way Sarah will turn ...Beautifully written, Property is an intricately told tale of both individual stories and of a country in a time of change, where ownership is at once everything and nothing, and where belonging, by contrast, is all.

REVIEW
I've read quite a few narratives dealing with salvery and its effects over the years, so I was really interested to read Property, a novel from a 19th century creole perspective. The cover promises that it is a "book that dared to tell a different story" so I was really intrigued to see what this was going to add to the wealth of amazing literature already out there.

To be honest I felt that there was almost no depth to it. There was nothing I didn't already know, no shock or abuse or strong feeling of 'wrongness'. It was quiet. I felt that not much happened in terms of a storyline, and it didn't fill in those gaps with a moral sentiment. 

But perhaps that's the point. If the novel is a depiction of the life of a plantation master's wife then it is only about her concerns, and the morality of slavery doesn't seem to be one of them. It is not supposed to be an expose, but more a story of blind ignorance. The society of the time put restrictions on everyone and bred misery in different ways for everyone involved. No one is immune, as Manon finds out. There are secrets and lies that surround everyone in Property, and its real concern is how the individual survives.


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