Nov. 5th, 2011

reviews_and_ramblings: (Default)
Definitely a good Regency romance, maybe a little too much focused on the war and diplomatic issue of the time (but that is probably justified by one of the hero being an officer) but nevertheless very romantic.

What is probably the best achievement of the author is to make me like Charlotte “Lottie”, a supporting character that I was ready to hate even before starting the book; true, in the blurb they presented her like a supporter of Charlie and Tristan’s relationship, she is Charlie’s sister and Tristan’s wife, but well, she had two children from Tristan and I didn’t think it was really possible she had no amorous feelings for her husband. So, or she was a sad wife who realized she couldn’t have the love of her life, or she was someone who really didn’t care for her husband at all. She is nor one or the other. Lottie is a practical woman, and apparently she has no romantic dreams; I have the feeling that, if she met the right man, she would fall in love, but, first she is not searching and second, that man had to have a very strong will to match a woman like Lottie. In the meantime, Lottie had nothing against the idea of the arranged marriage with Tristan, mostly since it allowed her to be independent. The relationship with her father is strange, but the reader will later realize the reason of that.

This long introduction is also giving you the idea of how important Tristan’s bisexuality is for the plot; actually Tristan is not bisex, he is strictly heterosexual until he meets Charlie, but this is not a gay for you story. Tristan has a complex relationship with his father, marred by the wrong idea that if Tristan is not a perfect son, his father will not love him; and since Tristan is far from being perfect, at least at his own eyes, he thinks no one can love him. Being homosexual, a sodomite, is not an option, and Tristan is repressing his feelings so much that it will lead him to a nervous breakdown. The reason? I think that, until he is having affair with women that are as much disinterest as him, he is not facing the issue of his homosexuality; but when he meets Lottie, a woman who is more than worthy to be loved, and he is not able to “impress” her enough to build a love relationship, he has to admit that the love of a woman is not what he is seeking, and that is the end. Doesn’t really matter that probably Lottie will never find the right man, that is not Tristan’s fault, and that, more or less, their marriage is a good one, probably better than most of the bon-ton marriages around them.

If the first part of the novel is a little slow, or maybe I read it like that since I was not really interested in that part of the story, when Charlie enters the scene the story takes a faster pace, and the love relationship between Charlie and Tristan is one of both love, trust and friendship. There are really no obstacle to their love, Lottie not only approves of that, she is even encouraging it, and even who is not aware of the personal nature of their bond is favouring it, for the good influence that Charlie has on the former scoundrel that was Tristan. Maybe that was something not really realistic, as probably it’s not Tristan’s choice to become a doctor (no aristocrat of the time would probably considering such idea); but there are example of middle class men of the time who were scientist or intellectual, so maybe it’s not impossible that someone like Tristan, after having assured to his descendants a good future, could spend the rest of his life doing something he enjoys.

I didn’t speak a lot of Charlie; he is not at all a plain character, on the contrary, he is a noble and sensitive man, but probably in comparison to Tristan he is too “good”, and you know, the bad guy is always attracting the romance readers ;-) but joke aside, Charlie is an impressive romance reader, and someone with a great courage, not only on the battle field but also when dealing with love and relationship.

http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/store/product_info.php?products_id=2292

Amazon: Kindred Hearts
Amazon Kindle: Kindred Hearts
Paperback: 350 pages
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press (May 2, 2011)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1615818987
ISBN-13: 978-1615818983

Reading List: http://www.librarything.com/catalog_bottom.php?tag=reading%20list&view=elisa.rolle
reviews_and_ramblings: (Default)
Definitely a good Regency romance, maybe a little too much focused on the war and diplomatic issue of the time (but that is probably justified by one of the hero being an officer) but nevertheless very romantic.

What is probably the best achievement of the author is to make me like Charlotte “Lottie”, a supporting character that I was ready to hate even before starting the book; true, in the blurb they presented her like a supporter of Charlie and Tristan’s relationship, she is Charlie’s sister and Tristan’s wife, but well, she had two children from Tristan and I didn’t think it was really possible she had no amorous feelings for her husband. So, or she was a sad wife who realized she couldn’t have the love of her life, or she was someone who really didn’t care for her husband at all. She is nor one or the other. Lottie is a practical woman, and apparently she has no romantic dreams; I have the feeling that, if she met the right man, she would fall in love, but, first she is not searching and second, that man had to have a very strong will to match a woman like Lottie. In the meantime, Lottie had nothing against the idea of the arranged marriage with Tristan, mostly since it allowed her to be independent. The relationship with her father is strange, but the reader will later realize the reason of that.

This long introduction is also giving you the idea of how important Tristan’s bisexuality is for the plot; actually Tristan is not bisex, he is strictly heterosexual until he meets Charlie, but this is not a gay for you story. Tristan has a complex relationship with his father, marred by the wrong idea that if Tristan is not a perfect son, his father will not love him; and since Tristan is far from being perfect, at least at his own eyes, he thinks no one can love him. Being homosexual, a sodomite, is not an option, and Tristan is repressing his feelings so much that it will lead him to a nervous breakdown. The reason? I think that, until he is having affair with women that are as much disinterest as him, he is not facing the issue of his homosexuality; but when he meets Lottie, a woman who is more than worthy to be loved, and he is not able to “impress” her enough to build a love relationship, he has to admit that the love of a woman is not what he is seeking, and that is the end. Doesn’t really matter that probably Lottie will never find the right man, that is not Tristan’s fault, and that, more or less, their marriage is a good one, probably better than most of the bon-ton marriages around them.

If the first part of the novel is a little slow, or maybe I read it like that since I was not really interested in that part of the story, when Charlie enters the scene the story takes a faster pace, and the love relationship between Charlie and Tristan is one of both love, trust and friendship. There are really no obstacle to their love, Lottie not only approves of that, she is even encouraging it, and even who is not aware of the personal nature of their bond is favouring it, for the good influence that Charlie has on the former scoundrel that was Tristan. Maybe that was something not really realistic, as probably it’s not Tristan’s choice to become a doctor (no aristocrat of the time would probably considering such idea); but there are example of middle class men of the time who were scientist or intellectual, so maybe it’s not impossible that someone like Tristan, after having assured to his descendants a good future, could spend the rest of his life doing something he enjoys.

I didn’t speak a lot of Charlie; he is not at all a plain character, on the contrary, he is a noble and sensitive man, but probably in comparison to Tristan he is too “good”, and you know, the bad guy is always attracting the romance readers ;-) but joke aside, Charlie is an impressive romance reader, and someone with a great courage, not only on the battle field but also when dealing with love and relationship.

http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/store/product_info.php?products_id=2292

Amazon: Kindred Hearts
Amazon Kindle: Kindred Hearts
Paperback: 350 pages
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press (May 2, 2011)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1615818987
ISBN-13: 978-1615818983

Reading List: http://www.librarything.com/catalog_bottom.php?tag=reading%20list&view=elisa.rolle
reviews_and_ramblings: (Default)
It was not “easy” to read this novel mostly since, first I think the main character, Maine Hudson, is probably a little too much like the author, North Morgan, and therefore his troubling uncertainty of life feels too real, and second since I’m not sure that Maine will “exit through the wound” as the title states.

No, this is not a spoiler mostly due to the trick the author did, having the last chapter, 40, at the beginning of the novel. I firstly didn’t realize that and was almost thinking that chapter was the memoirs of some other character other than Maine, or maybe that of the same author, North. I was really convinced of that also since in that first/last chapter, the narrative voice is sexually “fluid”… meaning that his sexuality is not black and white, he is not gay or straight, but he is mostly navigating life (and sex) without frontier, and if a man wants to kiss him, the narrative voice will simple close the eyes and accept the kiss. Three or four chapters after I realized it was the same Maine on that first chapter (yes, I was a little slow), but the impression of being sexually “fluid” remained: Maine is in love (love is probably a too simple word to summarize what he feels for Sadie, but it’s the nearest in meaning) with Sadie, who is in a relationship with Guy, and so basically Maine shares Sadie with Guy, or maybe Sadie shares Maine with Guy.

Anyway this is not really a story centered on Maine’s relationship with Sadie or Guy; it’s more Maine’s journey through life, through the wound as the title suggests, and it’s really a painful journey (painful for Maine not for the reader). It’s a chronological recording of working days and weekends and how many drugs Maine has to take to allow him to go through all of them. Maine is not satisfied with his family, his job, his relationship… but this dissatisfaction is not something that is displayed with rage or rebellion, since Maine’s emotions are dumbed by all the drugs he is taking. Right today someone commented on the bio I posted of a gay celebrity of the past, Jacques d'Adelswärd-Fersen, who committed suicide on November 5, 1923, at 43 years old by cocaine and champagne; the comment was more or less, he had everything and wasted all of it. My reply was he was probably affected by the very common “mal du vivre”, an illness that usually falls upon the most sensitive souls. Maine Hudson is exactly the most likely man to be affected by such illness, I think that, deprived by the drugs, his soul would be too raw, exposed to the unforgiving world.

Now, don't assume that Maine is a poor soul, victim of everyone around him; Maine can be acid as vitriol, his interchange with friends and lovers are often based on how much you can attack someone else, some stranger who crosses their street (the fat girl in the swimming pool, the poor guy who chooses the wrong shirt...), but in a way, he is neither so lethal since mostly their victims are not aware of being the object of such attack. Again, I think this is a way for Maine to shelter himself, or maybe, noticing the flaws of someone else he will be able to ignore his owns.

Amazon: Exit Through the Wound
Amazon Kindle: Exit Through the Wound
Paperback: 256 pages
Publisher: Glasshouse Books (September 8, 2011)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1907536078
ISBN-13: 978-1907536076

Reading List: http://www.librarything.com/catalog_bottom.php?tag=reading%20list&view=elisa.rolle

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