Hi Todd, when I originally read your response I didn’t spot that it was your good self, nice to hear from you. (…unless you’re someone else who’s just stolen his name to be on here that is.)
So anyway, though I enjoy a good fantasy movie, I’m not really into fantasy literature. So though I will read through your stories (just cos it’s you) …eventually, I was more interested in the other titles you mention.
So I thought I’d do a bit of research on them:
‘Del Amor y Otros Demonios’ is the original title of ‘Of Love and Other Demons’, and I was surprised to find that it was adapted into a Costa Rican/Colombian film in 2009 (directed by Hilda Hidalgo) and an opera that premiered (with quite good reviews) at the ‘Glyndebourne Festival’ by Hungarians Péter Eötvös and Kornél Hamvai the year before.
It is interesting to note that in the film version, both the character of ‘Sierva’ and the actress Eliza Triana are stated as being 13 when the film was made (Sierva being 12 in the book). It’s intriguing as: if compared to the film adaptations of Nabinkov’s ‘Lolita’ (principally shot in America) it suggests a more relaxed attitude to younger actors portraying sexually evolving characters. In ‘Lolita’, 'Delores Haze’s age is similarly bumped up by a year, but both Sue Lyon and Dominique Swan were at least 15 when they played her. Imagine the outcry if they had cast an actual 11-13 year old!
Although I can’t find much about ‘Dream Children’ (Wikipedia informs us that “Paedophilia is at the heart of the story. Oliver Gold’s pure thoughts, and seemingly asexual life contrast with the reality of his desires and deeds. Oliver abuses Bobs over a long period.”) It could be that the title is partially in reference to ‘Dream-Children; A Reverie’ published in the early 19th century as part of Charles Lamb’s ‘Essays of Elia’.
Lamb’s work - though having no sexually romantic theme - nonetheless focuses on the wishful hopes of what might have been in an alternate ideal life, were it possible.
‘Nothing Is Terrible’ - Matthew Sharpe is described in reviews of this book as having a style that is variously compared to Charlotte Bronte & Jane Austin… no mean feat for a guy from New York. It focuses on a girl (she is described elsewhere as “asexual”/“androgynous”) who runs off with her 6th grade female teacher. However, conservative (I’m assuming) responders to the reviews did decide that this book is indeed “terrible”.
I was mildly amused by a quote that I wonder if Andrew Pari (who recently did an interview for Prostasia) might consider using in any of his lectures: “Now listen carefully, dear reader, because I am going to give you some very important advice: don’t ever have sex with a boy. He sticks you with that thing and it HURTS! And, what’s worse, it feels GOOD!”
The general consensus about ‘Child of My Heart’ seems to be that it’s brilliantly written, but as well as the main character being too unbelievable (narrated in retrospect; ‘Theresa’ is a mature-beyond-her-years 15 year old) the main issues seem to be the neglect and abandonment of the children she cares for by the parents, and her reciprocated affection for a 70 year old artist.
…I wonder whether Alice McDermott drew any inspiration from the 1969 Michael Powell film “Age of Consent” (feat. James Mason & Helen Mirren).
The story of ‘Lamb’ [and ‘Tommie’] has been, with some justification, compared similarly with that of ‘Humbert’ and ‘Delores’. The characters are similar ages and they both involve the older man spiriting away the child, ostensibly so she might avoid a worse potential reality. Except in ‘Lamb’ this isn’t as “ostensible” as with the earlier novel.
In some ways - though not in an obvious fashion - it explores the concept of CSA occurring as a result of circumstance. Where the “abuser” would not consider himself, nor be technically considered by others a paedophile (at least, that’s how I understand it from the reviews anyway), in contrast to ‘Humbert’ …who definitely is.
‘Touched’ is almost the opposite of the above stories. It deals with a 12yo boy (‘Robbie Young’) who reveals to his Mother that he has been molested by the local postman, and this story is, by all accounts, a nuanced “vivisection” of the lives of ‘Robbie’, ‘Linda’ (his Mother), ‘Jerry’ (the molester) and ‘Jeanette’ ('Jerry’s wife) and goes on to explore the repercussions.
…A lot of guilt & self-loathing going on all over the place.
And finally… ‘The Jewel of Medina’ - Sherry Jones… Well… I might warn folks, (@ForbiddenTruth in particular) that you might need to check your insurance before considering this book. When ‘Gibson Square’ announced it would publish this book in the UK in 2009 the publisher’s house was firebombed.
Seemingly it’s an historical take on the life of Āishah bint Abī Bakr who was the 9 year old 3rd wife of the prophet Muhammed. From reviews I’ve read, it seems quite conceivable that the publisher was firebombed by literary critics rather than terrorists.
So, certainly intend reading some of these myself, AD(H)D permitting.
This exercise of reviewing the reviews has certainly been interesting, even if it did take me all day when I should have been searching/applying for jobs.
I’d be writing my own novel(s) if I could write faster than 50 words an hour, it’s not that I don’t have any ideas. Although my genre would be more of a mystery/crime detective story… I think.