Thursday, August 8, 2013

Review of Becalmed by Normandie Fischer

As I was reading this novel and enjoying the specialized language of sailing and the interesting characters of this seaside town, I kept thinking it felt like a Jane Austin novel. I tried to think of why when Normandie is a less wordy author and the setting is so very different. Like Jane Austin, she focuses on the many details of domesticity of a certain class of people. Every time she shifts the point of view, the story is told in the language of the person she is showing us. Her skillful writing draws us into the lives of many people so that we feel like we understand them all, and deeply sympathize with most of them. As I was still thinking about Jane Austin, the author started quoting Jane Austin. Oh ho, influence much? Well, as far as I'm concerned, there can never be too many people who write like Jane Austin.
I don't want to call this a romance; there were no spinning heads, and I hate romances. This was a book about love, looking for love, trying to avoid love, grieving about love, and falling in love.
I thought the nine-year-old girl was a little too precious. I was not precious when I was nine, and neither were any of the other nine-year-olds I knew. In general I found little girls to be noisy and spiteful beasts. On the other hand, the allure of dressing up a little girl is strong, so strong that when I gave birth to a girl who would never let me dress her up and who ate all the earrings I put on her, I adopted a girl I hoped I could dress up and fix her hair and play with and read to. Sigh. Instead I ended up with two girls who tore everything cute thing I sewed for them. But, you know, I have known only a few thousand people in my life, and there may well be precious little girls out there.I may have even run across them and simply didn't recognize them because I was too busy chasing around my autistic and my fetal alcohol affected daughters and trying to keep them from damaging other little girls. So, in the book, Jilly was a cutie and everyone treated her like a cutie.
Most of the people in the book were the kind of people you would like for friends and they treated each other well.
Save for a few scenes, this was a pleasant world to be immersed in. I enjoyed the family love, the neighborly love, the friend love, the erotic love, the married love depicted in the book. I look forward to reading more books by the author.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for the interesting review. I love the Jane Austen connection.