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Bellwether Book Reviews

"People say that life is the thing, but I prefer reading." - Logan Pearsall Smith.

Shades of Milk and Honey

Shades of Milk and Honey - Mary Robinette Kowal This book had so much potential! Unfortunately, the dialogue drove me mad and ruined the whole damn thing. The narrator refers to both Jane and her sister Melody as Miss Ellsworth. There were several scenes where this confused the hell out of me, especially when the sisters were pining for the same man. The story follows Jane's journey, and yet the narrator refers to her parents as Mr. and Mrs. Ellsworth, instead of something like, oh I don't know... her father and mother, perhaps?

I was enticed into reading this book because of the magical element Kowal incorporated. Too bad it turned out to be not at all fascinating. Rather, it just seemed out of place and ridiculous. Here's how the magic works:

people can use 'glamour' to temporarily enhance themselves and their surroundings...

(me) Okay, sounds like it might be interesting. Tell me more.

Well, it is usually an activity left to women, in addition to playing the piano, painting, knitting, etc...

(me) okay, well all those things aren't very taxing, because, you know, people used to think that the female sex's sensibilities were far too delicate for anything more strenuous. That must mean "glamour" isn't very physically or mentally demanding, yeah?

Actually, when people overexert themselves by creating a 'glamour' they can actually pass out, have seizures, go brain dead, or even die.

(me) ...wait a second. I thought it was considered a lady's activity. Ladies who, during this period, were not allowed to walk at more than a sedate pace, breastfeed their own children, or drink hard liquor because society (men) deemed it all too arduous. But, "glamour" isn't? ummmm... Maybe the author should go back to the drawing board...