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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
Tiger's Fall - Molly Bang Lupe, the oldest child of farmers, is an active child who works and plays hard. When she falls from a tree and is paralyzed from the waist down, her family is ruined by the medical bills and the treatment doesn't even help. When she almost dies from infection, her parents send her to a special "village" where disabled people live together and help one another.

Although Lupe is fictional, the PROJIMO is a real center in Western Mexico. Sadly, it is in an area rife with drug smuggling and violence. Many parents are afraid to bring their children there, and few doctors want to work at such risk, so patients must provide most of the care to one another.

I'm uncertain as the intended audience for this book. It might soften the hearts of people who are insensitive to the disabled or don't care about the international problems of poverty and inadequate medical care, but I don't see those people reading such a book. It could be inspirational for those who've recently suffered disabling accidents, but I tend to suspect that the last thing a depressed, injured person wants is yet another "inspirational" gift. It isn't really suitable for younger children because of the sickeningly graphic descriptions of sores, infections, rotting flesh, etc.

I got this book because I like Bang's art, but there are only a few small black-and-white drawings here. Once I started the book I actually expected something a bit different from what I got, because it begins with the conflict between Lupe and her spoiled, rich cousin Angelica. Angelica sneers at rural ways and it is her dare to climb the forbidden fig tree that leads to Lupe's injury. We get a brief scene where Angelica visits her cousin in the hospital and is subdued in manner and dress. At that point I was expecting continued interaction between the girls and maybe something "redemptive" where each learns to respect the other's good points, but we never see Angelica and her parents again. Odd from a structural point of view but I guess realistic.

Don't read this if you are squeamish or depressed. Really, you could just skip the book and give some time or money to a charity.