I’m beginning to think I should stop reading for a while, because every book I pick up seems to be not quite right for my mood. I’m at a loss to find the book that will do.
After feeling dissatisfied with Rosamund Lehmann’s The Echoing Grove, I picked up Georgette Heyer’s novel Venetia, thinking I couldn’t go wrong with Heyer, and yet she didn’t quite do the trick either. The novel’s slow pace bothered me. This, surely, is a sign things are not right with me, as I usually like novels with slow paces. I also found the heroine a little irritating — she laughed the entire way through the book, even in very dramatic situations where any normal person would not crack a smile. And I couldn’t quite forgive the hero for forcing a kiss on Venetia at their very first meeting. I suppose this is meant to be sexy — the bad boy hero can’t resist and the innocent heroine can’t help but like it — but I found it obnoxious.
I disliked the gender dynamics in other ways too. When Venetia meets Damerel, the rakish hero, she spends some time thinking about his history with women and how she feels about it, and she decides that men are simply that way; they can’t help but chase women and have affairs, and there’s nothing to be done about it and it really doesn’t matter a whole lot. I think she’s supposed to come across as admirably practical and realistic for thinking this way. As far as I’m concerned, though, if this is the truth about men, I think I’d rather not know.
So, I’m reading Margery Allingham’s Sweet Danger now, and so far it’s going okay, but I’m afraid it’ll head downhill at any moment, or, rather, my feelings about it will head downhill, probably for reasons that have nothing to do with the book. I feel I should apologize to any author and any book I attempt reading right now, as I surely am not doing them justice.
I’m hoping I get over this soon ….