Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Teaser Tuesday.


I realized sadly that this might be the closest I ever came to glimpsing the wonders of the world beyond England...I looked at the mummy then for what it truly was---an emissary from the world I would likely never know or taste or feel---and it nearly broke my heart.
---from Wrapped by Jennifer Bradbury.

(Teaser Tuesday is a cool-lookin' reading blogthing hosted over at Should Be Reading.  You post a couple random sentences from your current read, this being mine.  I actually just finished it like, half an hour ago.)

I rushed to the library for this immediately after reading the author's first novel Shift, which was the first book in a long time (well. not counting short graphic novels.) that I just...sat and read in under twenty-four hours.  Sadly, Wrapped wasn't as engaging, although it was an enjoyable enough read. 

The teaser sentences that I chose were actually one of my favourite moments in the book, because I'm always interested in the way that historical fiction (this novel is set in Regency England) uses the lens of the time in which it's being written to look at the time it was written about.  In this case, the aspect of the Regency Era being looked at (and mourned) is the dearth of choices that came with being born a woman.  The sentences above are one of the better examples of this in the novel, a lot of the others got more heavy-handed, a little too influenced by the 21st century rather than the 19th.

So while I don't un-recommend Wrapped, I'd recommend Shift (which is set in the present) first.  And in the way of historical fiction for young readers (...like you asked me about that...), when I think about books that represent the frustration and terror of being born female in a time when that meant you were destined to be  a Wife and Mother, never mind if you were interested in something else,  The Evolution of Calpurnia Tate by Jacqueline Kelly springs to mind immediately.  I would definitely count this novel among the best of everything I read last year.  It was evocative, thoughtful, and poignant.  The kind of novel that makes you want to write to the author.  Which I've been meaning to do for ages, but first I have to learn how to draw a vetch plant

4 comments:

  1. Is she reviewing this mummy in a museum, dreaming of adventuring into the east? I understand English culture in the period was fascinated by the "Orient", to the degree that it influenced English architecture.

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    1. She's actually at a mummy unwrapping party (and yes, dreaming of adventuring to Egypt), which was apparently a Thing if you were wealthy enough to buy your own mummy.

      It's so interesting how the fascination with Egypt/the "Orient" seeped into stuff like architecture---and even cemeteries! There's a really big cemetery in Brooklyn that has tons of Egyptian-inspired gravestones and mausoleums---obelisks, lotus flowers, someone even has a giant pyramid with sphinx statues...

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  2. Great teaser! Here's mine:

    http://collettaskitchensink.blogspot.com/2012/02/teaser-tuesday-21412.html

    Colletta

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  3. That is a beautiful passage. Sorry you didn't enjoy it as much as the first book. My blog

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