Book Notes: Ruth Ware

When I get into an author, I usually go and read everything by them. So I read all of Ruth Ware’s novels. They are entertaining but not worth writing a separate review for each book.

People always ask why I read such trashy novels. But where else can one find a novel written entirely from the perspective of a breastfeeding mother who has an infant clamped to her breast throughout the 400 pages of the novel? And not because the author is trying to make some point but because it’s a large part of life for women. Women spend years keeping their kids in their field of vision while doing everything else. It’s nice to read about that even when it isn’t great art.

Out of all the novels by Ware that I read, Lying Game is my favorite because it has the breastfeeding mother in it.

The second favorite is The Death of Mrs Westaway because it has extreme poverty, precariousness, and in spite of not being a great artist, Ware treats people who live in poverty and the often dubious choices they make with great tact and non-sappy kindness. Writers have such trouble finding the right tone to depict poverty but Ware does it surprisingly well.

In a Dark, Dark Wood is my least favorite. It’s about a woman who can’t get over a teenage crush, and I’m simply too old for that kind of thing. Fussy, neurotic women fighting over high school sweethearts are not my cup of tea. The novel’s only saving grace is a short appearance of a character who is a mother to a small child and who finds the squabbling neurotic women to be complete idiots.

The Turn of the Key was the first Ware novel I read and I really enjoyed it. There’s this whole surveillance capitalism aspect that I’m into, so it was fun.

The Woman in Cabin 10 was one of the weakest but not as bad as In a Dark, Dark Wood.

Ware knows how to create suspense. She’s good at building a Gothic ambiance. But she’s weak at denouement. The last 30 pages are always the weakest part of her books. So if you read thrillers for the ending, she’s not your author.

The Wrong Side of History

With all of his faults, Trump is not on the side that defaces Cervantes statues and makes people terrified to put a like on a tweet. It’s not Trump supporters running around, looting, assaulting, destroying, and terrorizing. It’s not Trump voters that get people fired for Facebook posts.

I hope nobody, nobody ever mentions how Trump is an authoritarian in my presence ever again. Because there’s a limit to how much stupidity I can listen to.

New Poll: Victims or Perpetrators?

So all of those people who are terrified to notice the defacement of the Cervantes statue or to say anything that would displease a diversity commissar, are they victims or are they culpable?

Let’s vote here.

P.S. I really love it when people vote in my polls, by the way.

The Tulsa Rally

First of all, shame on people retelling the ridiculous story about “Tik Tok teenagers ordering tickets.” This is utterly ridiculous.

The turnout was about 75%, which an amazing achievement given the virus, the impossibility to attend for older people, the rabid brownshirts assaulting people for trying to attend, and the even more rabid brownshirts studying the footage to destroy the livelihoods of those who attended.

However, the energy in the room was low. Trump gave his pre-corona, pre-riots, and pre-loss of SCOTUS speech. And it doesn’t work in the new world that has been created since. The audience clearly expected him to talk about what’s going on but today’s situation wasn’t central to the speech. It simply felt antiquated. This was disappointing not because Biden is better about diagnosing the current situation but because there’s now not a single person in the political space who will be able to blurt out the truth. We are doomed to exist in a reality where nobody dares to mention what’s going on. Not even Trump.

We are a laughing stock of the world. Even in stupid Russia there’s more freedom of speech. And this isn’t because Russia’s autocracy is good. (Have you heard what they are about to do on July 1? You’ve got to be all kinds of dotty to like that.) It’s because we suck so badly. What have we turned into? What a bloody shame. The person who would win every election is a person who’d say that. And there’s nobody like that.

We are left with a reality where a small group of spoiled ridiculous brats is terrorizing us and we aren’t allowed to notice. But by all means, let’s concentrate on a meme created by brain-dead TikTok zombies who want to believe they matter.

Age Difference

It never occurred to me that in relationships with a significant age difference it’s the younger person that could be exploited. What could you exploit a younger person for? What do they have to offer that’s a valuable, scarce resource? Sex? Well, maybe in 1942. Today, there’s total oversaturation.

It’s like people are living a century ago. Ooh, he got together with a 40-year-old man at nineteen, poor victim. (Everybody knows who I’m talking about, right?). But what could the 40-year-old get from him that isn’t available to great excess on a million dating apps? What the younger guy can get from a successful 40-year-old, on the other hand, is harder to come by.

Disclaimers: I’m only talking about relationships between consenting adults, of course. And I’m not suggesting that all or even most such relationships are exploitative. Ickiness does happen but it’s not a rule. My own sister is married to an older guy, so I’m definitely not a hater of relationships with a decade+ difference. Or any difference.