Good Reads: Emma Donoghue's Slammerkin

I admit to reading more than my share of delightful though thinly plotted 'bodice rippers.' Summers were spent plowing through these books and quashing thoughts that if the characters had been real people, they'd mostly likely would have lost most of their teeth and would have smelled pretty rank while they're were joined in a passionate embrace. I knew those books glossed over the realities of living in a Scottish castle in 1787 and eventually that's why I stopped reading them. It wasn't that I was jaded or my taste in books had improved--it was that I didn't buy the fantasy anymore. So I guess I did get a little jaded. (Kind of like how I know more Santas are like Bad Santa then the Santa from Miracle on 34th Street.) When I outgrew romances, I moved on to other types of books but I still have a soft spot for historical novels. When I happened by Emma Donoghue's Slammerkin I was relived to be able to indulge in a book that takes place in the time of corsets, but with a really twisted twist.

There’s nothing romantic about this little tale about a lower class girl whose life goes from gritty to worse because of her desire for something pretty and that's the way I like it. Donoghue is a vivid and merciless writer who tells a completely engaging story about a good girl gone bad due to some pretty harsh circumstances. It might not be everyone’s cup of tea, especially for those who like their stories to end on a happy note.

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