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Pauline's Fantasy Reviews

Reviews of fantasy books, plus some mystery, sci-fi and literary works, and my random thoughts on book-related matters.

Currently reading

Dragon Queen (The Memory of Flames, #5)
Stephen Deas
The Splintered Eye (The War of Memory Cycle #2)
H. Anthe Davis, Erica Dakin

Bad Blood

Bad Blood: A Memoir (Stranger Than...) - Lorna Sage This is rather a slight book, not uninteresting but I have to wonder (as always with autobiography or memoir) what sense of self-importance drove the author to think her life story was sufficiently interesting to set down.

Her family is disfunctional (aren't they always?), her grandfather a minister of the church with a compulsion to have affairs, her grandmother a viciously angry woman and their marriage an aggressively bitter affair casting a pall over the household. Her mother is a perpetual child, and her father a self-made war-promoted man struggling to manage his business and family in miltary fashion.

In the middle of all this, Lorna appears to be a strange, self-absorbed child, buried in her books, who finds her metier at grammar school and then university. When she becomes pregnant while still at school, it seems that her grandfather's bad blood (and wilful sexuality) has been passed to a new generation.

As always with such books, there are parts that seem less than fully believable, and it is to be supposed that the author is presenting her childhood as she wishes us to see it. Undoubtedly the other members of her family would see things differently. And the sheer selfishness of a girl whose first response to an unexpected pregnancy is to apply to university is breathtaking. What did she expect to happen to the baby?

Nevertheless, despite its flaws, I enjoyed reading the book, even though not all of it rang quite true, for the sheer quality of the prose.