Aurora Leigh Readalong I

[Chock full of spoilers.]   So another of Alice’s readalongs and hoping we’ll have as much fun as the previous ones.  We’ve read the first two books and I can’t tell yet.   I like some of it.   Can’t follow some of it.   It’s too early to tell, I guess.  Aurora Leigh is half-Italian, half-English.   Her mother dies when she is four and her father a few years later.  She is sent to live with an aunt in England who isn’t cruel, but cold and conventional with very set ideas on how young ladies should behave and Aurora grows up a fiercely passionate poet and a beauty.  Her cousin Romney falls in love and proposes, but she rejects him after he scorns women writing poetry.   I don’t blame her.  His speech makes me want to slap him and every man who ever superciliously said anything like

The chances are that…

You write as well… and ill… upon the whole,

As other women.  If as well, what then?

If even a little better… still, what then?

We want the Best in art now, or no art.

Only men can write poetry.   Infuriating.  Then he relents and is like okay, I still want to marry you, you can write your little poems or whatever.   And she is proud and passionately tells him where he gets off.   She’s not sorry because she knows she didn’t love him and doesn’t really think he loved her.   He may have to the extent he was capable, but who knows?

Women of a softer mood,

Surprised by men when scarcely awake to life,

Will sometimes only hear the first word, love,

And catch up with it any kind of work,

Indifferent, so that dear love go with it.

I do not blame such women, though, for love,

They pick much oakum

So, there’s definitely moments I like.  Is that enough to get me through it?  I hope so.

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The Body in the Bath

A couple weeks ago I finished Marissa de Luna’s mystery The Body in the Bath featuringDetective Chupplejeep and his assistant, Officer Pankaj.  This is, I think, they’re second mystery.  I bought it because it sounded good, was only $3, and it would connect with the last mystery I read in the chain for Bev The Bath Mysteries.   It’s an entertaining enough mystery with fairly vivid characters.   Pankaj is sweet and naive for a police officer.  Half the hotel staff have something to hide.  The murdered woman was a D-List film star who unbeknownst to everyone in town has come home for the holidays.   How this can simultaneously be a small town in which everyone knows everything about everyone and no one knows this actress has a sister who became a nun is beyond me.   This is the sort of flaw the book possesses.  It’s a bit repetitive.   Pankaj almost fails to solve the blackmailing case he’s been handed through poor police work and the solution I find hard to believe, but I enjoyed reading it and learned something about Goa – a region in what is now India with an unusually high Christian population because they were colonized by Portugal.

bodyinthebath

I think that these little roughnesses may be worked out the more she writes.  They could also be handled by an editor, but those don’t seem to exist any more.   Not a great mystery, but I’d like to read more Chupplejeep.

This qualifies as my last RIP book and as I mentioned above connects to my earlier reading The Bath Mysteries another good not great, but entertaining enough mystery.