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Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Stephanie Lehmann and Karen Miller

I picked this book up in a hurry but it has surprising depths, despite its cover! Ginger is studying at the NY School of Culinary Arts. She is uncomfortable with her body and with her image. She dresses down (and wears funky sneakers) - trying to hide herself away. This is a reaction to growing up with her mother, Coco, who used to work as an exotic dancer and still teaches hen parties for a living. Coco is Very comfortable with her own skin. This book is about seeing your parents with new eyes when you grow up and your reassesment of them. Ginger has to move past simple feminist prejudices and see Coco as a living embodiment of a strong woman who has always been there for her, despite apparently revelling in being a sex object - very nicely observed.

I chose this book carefully. I have read a lot of SFF and if one is not discriminating, it can all blur together into one big quest. I was not disappointed - this is a good, well written story with an active pace. The characters are well drawn and you care for each of them. There is a decent magical premise and a suitably complex political plot. There are no boring long drawn out bits. The relationships are fairly sympathetic, though everything is terribly secret. Still, as it is unusually, a duology - I shall be getting Book Two.

6 comments:

Kak Teh said...

msiagirl, everytime i read reviews i am tempted to buy the books and then they will remain in a queue. Today i was on the way to hertford - i managed to read Tunku halim's book and on the way back, camilla Gibb's Sweetness in the belly. and now i am confused.

msiagirl said...

Kak Teh, haha it looks like you have some wonderful books to read first, that you brought back from Malaysia without having to start any more! Two books in two train journeys - wow! There are too many books to read in the whole wide world and there will always be more - I am lucky nowadays that I simply read to please me. :)

Kenny Mah said...

I love the word "duology" --- it's seductive. As is the cover to "The Art of Undressing"; I'm glad to learn that that book has more depth to it than the cover. It does look a bit chick-lit though covers can be deceiving.

My reading practices leave much to desired but I do my ten minutes during breakfast and another ten in bed before I go to sleep, and hey, books get finished that way! :)

msiagirl said...

You know what :) - I would say Art of Undressing is probably chick lit, but it is not all I ever read, or will read so hey, a book is a book, and I got something out of it. And the author went to NYU Creative Writing Grad school...and i love the sense of place of NY cos i miss it (used to live near there and would pop into the city on the train.) And there was a lot of food involved - so the food porn element was definitely there, haha!

Kak Teh said...

msiagirl, where is your comment box for yr latest entry? I'd like to recommend some new rendangs for you.

Kenny Mah said...

Just had a conversation with another foodblogger on chick lit --- I think it doesn't matter what we read so long as we enjoy ourselves. :D