Yesterday I zipped through The Oracle Betrayed, and now I’m doing my best to work on other books from my library pile before I snap up the sequel and devour it, too. It was indeed pleasantly like Megan Whalen Turner’s The Thief,
minus Eugenides. But it has the setting that feels historical, a blend of ancient Greece and ancient Egypt, but with an imagined mythology and culture. It has intrigue and betrayal and hidden motives. It has characters who are shocked to discover that the gods they pay lip service to are, in fact, real and present. It feels complex without being too cpmplex. There are elements of the culture that are distasteful – and the characters often find them distasteful along with the reader – but the masks must stay on, the tombs must be sealed, and the inevitability of the last page hits you across the face.
Which is why I’m itching for the sequel – because things are by no means tidily wrapped up. Instead, I’m moving on to Middlemarch. Sophie mentioned wanting to read it, and I have such fond memories of watching the Masterpiece Theater version on a cold January night with her and Bronwen, that we seized upon a vague plan of reading it together. So I dove in, and had to adjust my brain to 19th century prose, but now things are going along nicely. I’d forgotten how funny it is – or rather, I wasn’t sure if the funny was from the process of adapting it to screen or if it really was that funny. And it is. I already loathe Casaubon from the depths of my being, and he’s barely done anything yet. Eliot’s tone with Dorothea (“Dodo”) has me cracking up.
Riding was an indulgence which she allowed herself in spite of conscientious qualms; she felt that she enjoyed it in a pagan sensuous way, and always looked forward to renouncing it.
Oh boy. If she keeps that up, I’ll be sailing through this 799 page puppy.
I’m supposed to make chicken soup with rice today. Appropriately, it’s raining.