Russel D. Maclean at GoodReads (www.goodreads.com) awarded it 4 stars but I couldn’t find a review, shame but thanks anyway Russel.
As both Emma and Russel seem to have a Waterstone’s connection I asked Jackie if she knew them. She didn’t but came back with two new comments, one from Amy who ‘absolutely loved the book’ and one from Anthony who had struggle to ‘get’ the book and didn’t seem all that impressed. The every insightful Jackie then made an interesting observation: that girls were finding the Demi-Monde a more intriguing read than blokes. This got me thinking. The score to date is this:
A ‘GOOD’ Verdict:
Nelli (okay, she's a little biased)
An 'OKAY' Verdict:
George (of 'cookie-cutter' fame)Anthony
Well, it’s not a statistically valid survey but the interesting thing is that all the ho-hum comments have come from men. Wondering why I thought perhaps that as there isn’t a gung-ho, rootin’-tootin’-always-shootin’, hi-testosterone hero in the book guys have nobody to identify with. Of course, there’s always Vanka but as Nelli observed when we discussed this in the car, Vanka is a sort of anti-hero: he’s a cynic who doesn’t really wanna get involved. Nell described him as being ‘Rhett-Butler-esque’ which when I think about is a perfectly correct observation. And of course ‘Gone with the Wind’ primarily appealed to women. Odd that.
Anyway, the situation ain’t gonna get better. I’ve got a couple more strong women waiting in the wings: Odette Aroca (a sort of Gallic Mae West who hails from the Quartier Chaud appears in Book 2) and Fresh Bloom, Dong E (a really smart Chinese concubine who makes her bow in Book 3).
The die is cast!