Mai Yamani

Wednesday reading — realism and romance

What I've been reading

I read Agnes Grey, which was totally the sort of thing you would expect from Anne Brontë based on the Hark! A Vagrant strip. It is actually kind of hilarious how painfully healthy, respectful and virtuous our heroine's romance with the curate is. The scathing indictment of the shoddy treatment of governesses is a little more interesting at least.

I read The Silkworm, the sequel to The Cuckoo's Calling. This one features a dead author whose work was inspired by Jacobean revenge tragedies, which is awesome. On the other hand, I fear that Robin and Cormorant are careering towards a romantic entanglement when I was really hoping that they were going to stay platonic, even as Robin's fiancé keeps being more and more of a dick. Amusing sidelight: Cormorant Strike mentions seeing Emma Watson on this specific Vogue cover. Is Emma Watson still famous for Harry Potter in the universe that these books are set in? Are the Harry Potter books still written by J.K. Rowling in this universe? Is the author of Harry Potter not known to be publishing mysteries under a pseudonym in this universe, or is she writing her mysteries about a detective with a different preposterous name? I have so many questions.

I read Up the Pier, another one of Helen Cresswell's non-Bagthorpe books. It is more like The Winter of the Birds, where the magic is a fairly transparent psychological metaphor, than The Night Watchmen, where I am still so confused as to what is actually meant to be happening in this book that it almost makes me angry. I seriously reread that about a year and a half ago, fully expecting that I would get it as an adult and was baffled all over again. But I liked this one, even though it left me feeling that the most reasonable explanation was that there was no magic and Carrie made it all up, which makes me feel old.

What I'm reading next

Probably going to reread American Gods, now that the TV version is happening and especially now that Bryan Fuller is attached to it. Actually, I still haven't read the expanded author's preferred text, but it's been so long since I read the original version that I kind of want to reread that first for comparison.

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