Tuesday, September 2, 2014

A Bloodsmoor Romance, of Sorts

                                         Teddy Roosevelt National Park, ND, 2009

This morning, like every morning, I called my mother.  She didn't have much to report, but she did mention that she wasn't too thrilled with the latest romance novel that my sister-in-law had downloaded for her on her Kindle.
"I don't know who this writer thinks she is, but she goes off on these long tangents of prose.  Just pages and pages of words that I don't even bother to look up because I would never use them out in the world.  And the book isn't even much of a romance," Mom declared.
"What's the title?" I asked.
"I don't even know."
"Who wrote it?"
"Oh, for pity's sake, let me go look it up....A Bloodsmoor Romance by Joyce Carol Oates," Mom said.
"Joyce Carol Oates!  Mom, haven't you ever heard of her?  She's a well-known writer of literature.  She's taught at Princeton forever."  I was flabbergasted, first that JCO wrote a romance, and second that my mom didn't seem to know who she was.  Is.
"Her name doesn't sound familiar, and I don't think she's a very good romance writer.  I mean, I'm not looking for smut, per se, but I want people's lives and their stories, so that I don't have to think about my own life.  You know what I mean."
"I think you want more near-smut than what this book is providing, and I don't think you want a narrative that's going to challenge your preferred easy romance reading experience."

We talked a few more minutes after that, but that's the gist of it.  I did go and look up A Bloodsmoor Romance and the typical response by readers is:  WTF did I just read?  And then they give 4 stars (out of 5).  I don't read a lot of JCO, the last of her books in my hands was We Were The Mulvaneys, but I may see if my local library has this so-called romance novel and see for myself WTF is going on.  Someone on Good Reads likened to what Little Women would've been like if Stephen King had written it.  My goodness.

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