“Wuthering Heights” review

Wuthering Heights
by Emily Brontë, Richard J. Dunn (Editor)

Patricia‘s review – Jul 01, 2012

 
This was probably my fourth attempt at reading this book, and the first time I didn’t give up midway through. The characters engaged my interest in a way they did not before….I was repelled as a teen and as a college student. Now, the complexity of relationships and fate intrigues me; I do not find their behavior or outbursts so reprehensible.

“We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves” review

We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves
by Karen Joy Fowler

Patricia‘s review – Sep 19, 2015

This was an enjoyable yet uneasy read, with its delightful protagonist, Rosemary, looking back as a college student on her first five years being raised with a chimpanzee “twin” in a psychologist’s research-loving family. It is also terribly saddening, as the plot unwinds and reveals that sister Fern, who disappeared when the protagonist was five, was sent to a research center, and caged with a group of older chimps that had not been raised as humans, let alone treated as a little girl. She was repeatedly raped and then artificially inseminated, and had her babies taken from her.
Rosemary, the “monkey girl,” was sent to kindergarten and grew up with her own family. She then loses her brother, Lowell, who leaves home to seek his missing sister and becomes involved in animal rights networks. Neither disappearance is discussed by her parents.
When Rosemary is in college, her brother shows up for one night and an explanation. He is persued by the FBI and police. Two of Rosemary’s friends also attempt to free research animals, without success.
The plot is a twisting one, and raises many questions about what distinguishes humans from apes and other animals we find useful. What constitutes a family, and what makes a member worthy of remaining forever? And what right to we have to exploit those of other species? The author gives us much to consider.

“Coquette” review

The Coquette: or, The History of Eliza Wharton
by Hannah Webster Foster

Patricia‘s review

Feb 26, 2018
This was a popular novel around in the 1790’s. It tells of a proper young lady who was engaged to a nice young man chosen by her parents, whom she did not love. Her fiancé died, and her social status changed overnight, along with her prospects and reputation.
I read this book because I’m working on a historical novel, and the young woman whose character is central to the story has made it a point not to read novels like this one, although they were all the rage in Colonial-Federalist Upstate New York at the time. I also wanted to get an idea of how people spoke to each other in that time period, for dialogue purposes.

Achalasia

a squeezing pain in my chest
like a heartache
a lovely name for
a gagging spasm
a clutch like angina
a plumber’s snake down my throat
a twist of an alien anaconda
a word sounding like accolade and euthanasia
the difference between an anthem and anathema
Aphasia
An ache in Asia

Corroboration

My great-grandmother Augusta
saw leprechauns daily.
She shared her high four poster bed with me,
age three.
I slept on the side against the wall.
When wee green men
danced on her chest of drawers
she would yell for my mother
to bring a broom
and sweep them away.

My great grandmother was thin
and wore cat-eye glasses
and she’d say, “Let’s go for a walk
around the block”
and take me by the hand
and we’d walk a few laps
around the dining room table.

Her second childhood and my
early childhood coincided,
so our minds
were in agreement.
We liked tea parties
and doll babies,
nursery rhymes and songs in the dark.

She was weakened
by ovarian cancer
but we’d rush to investigate
when my mother told us there was a draft
in the living room.
We expected a giraffe.

When the ambulance took her
I spent the first night in that high bed alone
I rolled to spoon with Nanny
and fell hard to the floor
breaking a rib and collar bone
and ending up at the same hospital
but in the pediatrics ward.

They said she was up
with the angels in heaven
but I determined fairies
came to her rescue instead.