The Crimson Petal and the White by Michel Faber
I found this book engrossing and enjoyed the style, which annoys other readers. It is a graphic story of a prostitute during the Victorian Era, as she rises and disappears into society. The story spins around the life she shares with William Rackham, eventually with the entire household. It is a book that was written to be a film, but Hollywood could never handle the loose ends of the story. This is something I didn’t mind, I didn’t mind the characters stepping onto a train bound for an unknown location. At the same time, Faber might not have known how to end the story, so he didn’t. Much like when a young artists won’t draw hands, but transforms the arms into tree branches or hides the hands under a blanket. (Try drawing a hand, it is very difficult.) I think it is worth the read for the descriptions of daily life in the Victorian Age.
Random Family: Love, Drugs, Trouble, and Coming of Age in the Bronx by Adrian Nichole LaBlanc
When I started reading this yesterday (at 8:30 PM) I didn’t realize it was non-fiction and did not expect it to keep me glued to the pages for 6 hours. I haven’t finished it, but probably will today. It is the engrossing true story about a group of teenagers in the Bronx in the late 1980’s and early 90’s. It brings to life all the horrors and truths about poverty, drugs, and life in the Bronx. You feel like a bystander in the lives of Jessica, Coco, Cesar, Boy George, Foxy, Lourdes, and their children and grandchildren. The greatest commodity that a girl had was her virginity and the currency is sex. Everytime someone gets pregnant, I want to reach through the pages and the years and shake them and pull their babies back out and into my room in London.
Leblanc is a reporter and this is a news article of great proportion. It is mind-boggling to imagine the years it took her to collect the full story. The details she has of daily life, outfit choices, food selections, and attitudes is amazing.
Read them, today.