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It's the tenth!

Once a month book_memes demands to know what are you reading?

What book are you currently reading?
How far in are you?
What's it about?
Are you enjoying it?

[my answers in comments]


Aug. 10th, 2010 04:25 pm (UTC)
The Mists of Avalon by Marion Zimmer Bradley

I kind of just picked up The Mists of Avalon at the library because I recognized the title from this "best fantasy" list that i've found good stuff off of... I'm on page 408 out of 876. It's a (VERY loose) retelling of the Arthurian (Camelot) legends from the point of view of the women. Somewhere in the background there are epic battles against the Saxons, but the book pays only cursory attention to that (mostly in that the women pine for their husbands while they are out fighting), instead focusing on marriages, unrequited loves, babies, and women using their husbands/lovers as tools to promote their religion (christian vs. pagan). I think it's well written, and I will definitely finish it, but it also could have been a lot better than it was. The women, even the "strong" characters, spend too much of the novel lamenting that they're not pretty enough to attract the man that they want and are generally of a spineless variety. the character of Gwenhwyfar (Guinevere) is particularly annoying as an agoraphobic bigot who spends most of the novel pining for her husbands best friend Lancelet (Lancelot). Feminists in general will probably dislike this book, but anyone who likes fantasies with a STRONG romance novel vibe will actually probably like it. That's not normally my thing, but I find it just well written enough to keep going despite of that.
Aug. 22nd, 2010 02:42 pm (UTC)

Feminists in general will probably dislike this book,

On the contrary ~ for me (as a feminist) the book describes strong characters, given the times. Gwenhwyfar is in fact a victim (as were most women then.) Her strength is in her determination to uphold her religion; to choose her lover & in the end, when he proved himself less the hero she had imagined him to be, to be her own woman even though it meant the nunnery.

As an exploration of Goddess-centric practice, Mists is considered a classic by many eco-feminist Goddess women.