Rating of three point five out of five ponderous stars. Novella by T.L. Curtis. When I think novella, I think a short little story with not much to it. Something that is basically to pass the time. Well, this book totally changed my mind about that. Despite that it is short (and for that reason the plot unfolded quickly and in a relatively predictable manner), it still managed not only to catch and keep my interest but it really had me reflect on society and on how it can influence a person, especially one that is already damaged.
Without giving the story away, I'll try to sum this novella up. This book is in essence the story of a woman who lives in a world where there are purchasers (the dominant partner) and those who are purchased (the submissive partner). No money involved, despite the language. It's strictly just the terms used. Then the story unfolds of how this paradigm impacts said woman (Erica) personally and in society.
That alone hopefully sounds ponderous, but truly this book is so on many fronts.
One of my favorite parts of the story is when Erica explains how from the ideology of feminism (of all things!) society changed to masters/handlers. Not only did it make matters clear to me while reading and not only is it a central part of the story, but the concept was so logical and interesting in the way that it was presented, that it was the highlight of the whole book to me. It's the idea that really raised my opinion of the book and that it was so consistent and deeply a part of Erica's journey, just made it all the more important and compelling to me.
Erica's journey had a very real and sad event in her youth happen to her, that shaped her outlook on life. Whether that outlook is right or wrong, is for every reader to decide, but I appreciate how it not only shaped her as a person but also shaped how the story unfolded. It was the driving force for the events that happened. It gave the story depth and “meatiness” that is rare to find in contemporary novels much less futuristic tragic novellas.
Yes, this story IS a tragedy. Pondering isn't all rainbows and sunshine.
Despite that I call this book a tragedy, it still did inspire a bit of hope in me with the character of Alice. She not only felt compassion and understanding for those she helped as a social worker, but also she had an equal relationship with her husband. That made me feel better and hopeful for today's society, since I completely believe it could actually end up like the one described in the book. She gave me the hope that even if society really did become like described in the book, different types of relationships could exist and like minded people could still find each other. That said, the book is a tragedy, and overall I just felt sad for Erica.
Like I've said, I found this story to be very believable, I can easily see society, evolving or devolving, (depending on your point of view) into the one described and that made it very, very, ponderous to me. That said, I don't generally like books that have a not happy or at least hopeful ending. I mostly read for pleasure, so a book that is all around tragic doesn't usually sit well with me, still, I gave it what for me, is a high rating for a tragic story, simply because the narrative was compelling and clear, and this book's idea was really interesting to me, very ponder worthy, which is the whole point of these reviews. To discuss books that are ponderous.
One example in this book, of something ponderous is that in the new paradigm “balanced” and “equal” are not synonymous. I'll let you find out how if you read it, not trying to be mean, but it's a central part to Erica's point of view so I honestly believe it's better for each reader to see for themselves.
I would highly recommend this book to someone who is interested in a new and very possible social paradigm when it comes to relationships. Which is , like I said, why it's being featured here on the Ponderous Book Reviews series. If you like to think about social issues or how a person's mindset or traumas affects them, this is the book for you. If you want a short but deep read, this is also the book for you. However, if you are just looking for some light entertainment, you should probably pass on this book. It is not a happy story, basically at all.
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