26 May 2011
The Virgin Blue
I really didn't like this book!
Okay, that's out of the way. So The Virgin Blue is about this girl, Ella, who moves to France with her husband. Turns out, she's of French descent, but her folks emigrated during the Catholic/Huguenot problems. In stereotypical novel fashion, she starts researching her ancestors, and librarians are more than happy to help her, going out of their way and spending their own time to research her family. The French must be a very helpful people.
Then the novel will flash back to Ella's ancestors. I enjoyed these parts much more, which I have found is generally a problem with this sort of novel. I am always more interested in one of the two stories, usually the historical. Maybe if it was used more sparingly, as a frame, or a bookend, I would be able to stand it better.
With these history books, especially Catholic/Huguenot ones, an element of magic is generally present in the women. I'm kind of fascinated by this idea; that men have religion and women have magic. Rephrase: There is a certain mysticism to these women and their rituals, but it isn't like they're casting spells. Just that they believe in a spiritual goddess or female power to help them. This, of course, becomes a major problem for Isabelle, the ancestor, in this book.
Spoiler: Ella cheats and it bothers me. I don't like her character at all.
And to finish my unclear and scattered review of this book, I feel like Isabelle's story ended quickly and unclearly (whereas she could have an entire novel to herself) and Ella's was unnecessarily drawn out. It was just weird. It got really staccato-y at the end, especially Isabelle's story. I just didn't like it at all. Don't read it.