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Month in review

Reviews:
The Altman Code by Gayle Lynds
The Art World Dream by Eric Rudd
The Autobiography of Malcolm X retold by Alex Haley
Bare by Elisabeth Eaves
Being Committed by Anna Maxted
Chasing the Dime by Michael Connelly
A Christmas Story by Jean Shepherd
Galactic Pot-Healer by Philip K Dick
Giorgio by Anita Benarde
GIS: Socioeconimic Applications by David Martin
Good Bones and Simple Murders by Margaret Atwood
Headache Relief for Women by Alan M. Rapoport and Fred D. Sheftell
Housekeeping by Marilynn Robinson
In the Beginning... Was the Command Line by Neal Stephenson
The Last Camel Died at Noon by Elizabeth Peters
The Mother's Recompense by Edith Wharton
Mario and the Magician by Thomas Mann
Mrs. P's Journey by Sarah Hartley
Notes from Underground by Fyodor Dostoevsky
Puckoon by Spike Milligan
Pudd'nhead Wilson by Mark Twain
Sacred Flowers by Roni Jay
Sacred Symbols: Ancient Egypt by Thames & Hudson
Something Rotten by Jasper Fforde
Spooky California by S. E. Schlosser
Trapped in Death Cave by Bill Wallace
The Virgin Blue by Tracy Chevalier
Ward No. Six by Anton Chekov

Miscellaneous
Baby Teeth and Eating
Dinner with Sean
Eight Facts About Me
Eight Months Old
Happy Monkey's Day
Harriet at 8 1/2 Months
Heat Wave
Ian's Teeth
Maxine Runs Cold
Maxine Runs Hot
New Jeans
New Postal Rates
No Swimming and Other Stuff
Swimming
Swimming Again
Toast
The Wooden Spoon

Vacation
Traffic
South Pasadena

Previous month

Rating System

5 stars: Completely enjoyable or compelling
4 stars: Good but flawed
3 stars: Average
2 stars: OK
1 star: Did not finish

Reading Challenges

My Kind of Mystery Reading Challenge 2017 February - January 2017-8


Comments for The Virgin Blue

The Virgin BlueThe Virgin Blue: 05/07/07

In The Virgin Blue by Tracy Chevalier, Midwife Ella Turner moves to France with her architect husband Rick. When they start trying for their first baby, Ella starts having nightmares about Isabelle du Moulin and a suffocating blue. Unsatisfied with her life in Toulouse, Ella has an affair and then flees briefly to distant relatives in Switzerland while she decides what she wants to do with her life.

To flesh out Ella's nightmares, Chevalier writes flashbacks of Isabelle's life. These flashbacks are by far the weakest piece of the novel and the most frustrating to read. Chevalier chose to write the dialogue in a very stilted fashion, using en dashes in place of quotes. This unfortunate choice in editing makes these flashbacks nearly unreadable and breaks the otherwise easy flow of the novel's narrative.

Ella's choice to leave Rick is never explained to satisfaction. Yes, she is lonely and feeling isolated in a foreign country but she never tries to express her dissatisfaction with Rick. Nor does she adequately explain how the nightmares are affecting her. Ultimately I felt sorry for Rick who may never get to know his child because of his wife's selfish behavior.

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Comment #1: Tuesday, May, 8, 2007 at 18:24:18

Susan Helene Gottfried, MFA

That's one of the most interesting takes on the book that I've seen. Neat insight!"



Comment #2: Tuesday, May, 8, 2007 at 16:13:13

Pussreboots

Thank you for the comment. I'm glad you enjoyed the review."