ok, this book is great if you’re a rapist who likes fantasies about how magical rape can be.
I read this book 30 years ago when I was in the ‘green berets’ and somehow did not remember that part of this story. perhaps my tolerance for reading about violence was skewed. with all the violent things I was trained to do, I didn’t let anything upset me. plus, I was still a drinking alcoholic. regardless - I noticed it this time.
my friend and I are reading books together to discuss them and I remembered that this was a fantasy about fairies, elves and an overlap between their world and ours. I had a vague recollection of it being melancholic and lyrical. which, it is in its overall tone.
my friend didn’t like it and she bailed before I did. to use her words, as a woman, she felt "actively unwanted". she couldn’t find a character to latch onto. I was happy with all the pretty words and meanderings in countrysides, traces of fantasy and overlapping family histories that were developing, so I didn’t quite catch on to what she experienced.
then, I reached the rape part of the novel.
so, one of the primary characters is a woman named sophie. she spends a lot of time in dreams / dreamland / fever / bed rest. she’s not entirely lucid and her ability to give consent is impaired…or at the very least, highly suspect. so what does this dude author write for her to advance her character in the story? he has her cousin rape her in a semi-conscious state. when said rapist cousin is en route back to her bedroom for another rape, he encounters the husband of sophie’s sister coming out of sophie’s bedroom after also raping her.
if I were reading a paper book again, it would have been in the fireplace that instant. with ebooks and audiobooks, I can’t press ‘delete’ fast enough. which is what I did, right there and then.
to make matters worse in this tripe, the author later tells how sophie gives birth to a child from being raped by her brother-in-law and the author has the child mysteriously disappear at the hands of the magical creatures in the tale. apparently, (and this is extremely fucked in the head) these creatures felt that the presence of this child would create conflict in that house because it was proof / reminder of the husband’s ‘straying’ - not rape, nope, not that…’straying’.
looking back now, I see what my friend was talking about. women in this book are magical breeders, reading cards, wandering in and out of magical worlds and spitting out children. all the action, perspective, angst, choices, character focus/alleged growth are male bodies.
as my co-reader and I discuss the book choices for ourselves, we trip over one constant problem - dude writers and their misogynistic bullshit. we are constantly pressed to find a dude writer that can fill out a page without being either covertly or overtly a sexist fuck stain.
and please, dear god, do not mention George R.R. Martin…I am not interested in reading about the equality of white women only. speaking of race, this book is lily fucking white.
attn dude writers: rape is not a character arc for women in stories!
attn white dude fantasy writers: I will personally write a fantasy novel about a dragon that shits all over the racist garbage and your pathetic excuses for being racist and I will title it “the flying dragon turds of hybernia”.
show me a famous dude writer that is not a sexist shit. it can’t be someone who was ‘advanced for his time’. I mean, show me a dude writer that writes across race and gender and class with equality and I will show you a fucking miracle. (and I’ll read it)