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Carissa Green Reads

I read widely from many genres. Perhaps this blog will feature fewer ratings and reviews, but I certainly intend to write about my reading life - it's the subject I most find myself wanting to talk about.

Currently reading

The Selected Poems of Donald Hall
Donald Hall
The Gay Science: with a Prelude in Rhymes and an Appendix of Songs
Walter Kaufmann, Friedrich Nietzsche
A Kierkegaard Anthology
Robert W. Bretall
The Guns of August
Barbara W. Tuchman
SPOILER ALERT!

Lightweights only

Victoria: A Novel from the Creator/Writer of the Masterpiece Presentation on PBS - Daisy Goodwin

Here's the thing: Daisy Goodwin's "Victoria," written in conjunction with her TV miniseries, isn't a bad book. It's frothy and fast-moving. But it's just a lightweight book. It doesn't feel particularly like a 19th-century story at all. 

 

Even worse: Take away the overlay of the politics of the British court, and it's basically this: Teenage girl hates her mother. Teenage girl hates her mother's controlling boyfriend. Teenage girl develops inappropriate crush on her much older co-worker and clumsily tries to seduce him. Teenage girl refuses to take her family's advice about ANYTHING - including which boys might be good for her to date . . . until the very end, oh wait, maybe I DO like that one . . .

 

Seriously, this Victoria isn't very smart, and she's only borderline savvy. The political material isn't covered in much depth, the whole novel lacks pathos, and the prose is functional but not elegant. I much more enjoyed this territory when it was covered in the Emily Blunt/Sarah Ferguson film "The Young Victoria." 

 

Will I enjoy the upcoming PBS Masterpiece broadcast? Probably - I'm a sucker for pretty costumes (and when doesn't Rufus Sewell steal the show?). But this book doesn't motivate me to read any more of Goodwin's work anytime soon. 

 

-cg