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Monday, June 19, 2006


***½ Around the Next Corner by Elizabeth Wrenn. Women's fiction.






I'm Not The Reader for this, or most other, women's fiction. Even though I fit the demographics. I'm only 4 years younger than the main character, and I'm also a SAHM, with 3 kids, one in college. Perhaps that's why.

If I were capable of putting down a book once I've started it, I'd have put this one down after the first chapter or two. Not because of the writing, which was great--unobtrusive and clean--but because I did not like Deena. She's martyred herself to her family, and resents them for it. She's obsessed with housework, lets her teenage kids walk all over her, and this was the part that pushed me over the edge:
"Why were women supposed to take hormones in order to be horny? Why weren't men pressured to take hormones to make them able to have three thoughts and not have two of them be about sex?"
That quote had me ranting to my husband for a good half-hour.

But I'm not capable of not finishing a book. I'm always afraid I'll miss something good if I don't. And that would have been the case with this one.

Deena realizes she's lost herself somewhere in immersing herself in her family, so when she stumbles across a program to raise puppies to be guide dogs for the blind, she decides to do something for herself and signs up. The details were just fascinating.

In the process of raising the puppy, she learned things about raising her children and that it is possible to be yourself and have a family; that she didn't have to leave her husband and family to rediscover herself. Most importantly, for me, she realized that a lot of her problems were of her own making, and that redeemed the book for me.


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Comments:
Why does this character assume that women need hormones in order to feel horny? Why does the character think that men can't have thoughts about things other than sex?

Clearly the character has a problem with her sex life, but does raising puppies help her get over this problem and stop stereotyping the sexualities of all other men and women?
 
LOL, yes, she does. She's dissatisfied with herself, so she has zero sexual desire, and she's projecting. Once she stops being a martyr, she realizes that.

But you've got a point--at the beginning, none of that was clear, unless as a reader you're willing to read into it or give her the benefit of the doubt.
 
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