Monday, January 19, 2009

The wages of sin

Current book: Where Angels Fear to Tread
Pages read: 14-68

Well, our sprightly young widow starts page 15 off with a bang by embroiling herself in a sordid Italian love affair. I'm astonished by this completely unexpected turn of events. My goodness, the shock. Her brother-in-law is dispatched with all haste to Italy to investigate the situation and, ostensibly, bring the wayward lamb safely back to Mother England. He tells himself, however, that should the match be an acceptable one, since they've been told the prospective husband is Italian nobility, after all, that he'll let Lilia (the wayward widow) have her second marriage. Imagine his horror, then, when he discovers that, in actuality, the Italian lover is actually a 21-year-old ex-army private with no occupation and is also (my god, the shame and disgrace) the son of's almost too terrible to say...a dentist. (I am not exaggerating the level of chagrin expressed in the text. Really.) It's all very dramatic, and made moreso when we discover that it's too late and they're actually already married! ::music sting::

Predictably, our young widow has a year of unhappy, isolated Italian marriage and then dies in childbirth. Awesome. Forster actually seems to be mocking the pretensions of English society with the extremity of Lilia's in-laws' reaction to the marriage, so that's some nice social commentary, but then the young woman is punished by dying prematurely. I'm not really clear where we're going with this.

I mean, honestly, I have no idea what's going to happen next. (Famous authors should start having slogans, like, "E. M. Forster, keeping you guessing since 1905." Ok, it might need some work, but the concept is sound.) Maybe the Italian half-brother will grow up and meet the English half-sister and they'll have a disgraceful love affair and eventually discover it's incestuous, which will, of course, result in their double suicide. But I'm just throwing out guesses. (I've mentioned the frequency of incest in works of literature, right? Just following the trend.)

I...don't have that much else to say. It reads quick, once I actually get to it. Which markedly increases the urgency of my library request for Rabbit, Run. Come on, InterLibrary Loan!

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