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Allusion is not Illusion

You'll pry my books off my cold, dead body. By the time you shift them all I'll be flat and dessicated.

Currently reading

Winter's Tales
Karen Blixen, Isak Dinesen
Black Lamb and Grey Falcon (Penguin Classics)
Rebecca West, Christopher Hitchens
Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell
Susanna Clarke
Already Dead
Charlie Huston
The Rings of Saturn
W.G. Sebald, Michael Hulse
Lady Audley's Secret
Mary Elizabeth Braddon, David Skilton
Unequal Protection: How Corporations Became "People" - And How You Can Fight Back
Thom Hartmann
The City, Not Long After
Pat Murphy
You Can Sketch: A Step-by-Step Guide for Absolute Beginners
Jackie Simmonds
Lonely Werewolf Girl
Martin Millar
The Queen Jade: A Novel - Yxta Maya Murray

I quit this book at page 60. I tried hanging in there to see if it improved once they actually get out into the jungle/archaeological site/whatever but gave up at "he chucked my chin." The heroine is such a feeb. I struggled get this far. The characters never made sense to me. That's not precisely to say that they're flat; there are real people who don't make sense to me, either. But there are authors who can write characters that don't make sense to me and are still interesting (Eg: Doris Lessing) or even make me more empathetic towards people I don't understand (Eg: Elizabeth Bowen), and this does neither. Maybe it's that Murray just isn't that skilled a writer. I kept hitting lines that made me stop and say "huh?" For instance, when Lola talks about her urge to tell Erik everything about what her mother's doing in Guatemala. Your mother told you to tell NO ONE and you can barely resist telling her rival colleague, who stole her other discovery, who you hardly know, and who is a revolting womanizer? Uh, sure, makes sense. And then when she DOES tell him (idiot) he offers to go with her to Guatemala and is all, "I don't make this offer to everyone" -- yeah, I would assume the opportunities to offer to help people look for missing mothers in Guatemala didn't come along so often. Why is Lola so overwhelmed by Guatemala, anyway? She's been there before, her dad lives there, her mother travels there... her reaction at the airport is akin to some small-town-middle-American who has never encountered anything "foreign" before.

Not buying the made-up historical background with the lady conquistador whose native lover tells her about the secret magic jade, either. Nor that a woman hypothetically in that position of power would write about her sex life in letters that could be potentially intercepted.

The whole thing seemed weirdly fetishizing and othering of the "exotic".

Maybe it gets better later and there are actual adventures or something.