Posts tagged ‘Review’

March 23, 2012

The Dead Girls are Beautiful

by capreviewroom

Dead Girls, by Nancy Lee is a novel that will shock and surprise readers with it’s vivid and strong set of characters and narration that at first glance seems confusing, but manages to give more meaning to these loosely connected short stories. Dead Girls makes a bold leading motif that will captivate readers.

The characters in Dead Girls strongly bound by Lee’s description of emotional pain and conflict. All stories are of young women in Vancouver facing with the emotional peril and ruthlessness of relationships, sex, loss, and despair. Grace in “Sisters” must deal with her broken heart after her older sister, Nina unintentionally hooks up with her crush, Kevin, and must take bigger responsibilities when Nina leaves the house to her and her mother alone. In “Associated Press” A girl is faced with emotional attachment to a boy overseas conflicting with her sexual intimacies. The strong sense of reality in all the characters set a chilling extraordinary novel to read.

The narration in Dead Girls well thought using a variety of sorts that does not confuse, but immerses the reader in the collection of short stories. In “Rollie and Adele” for example, reverses the chronology order. “Associated Press” is written in a second-person point of view with good effectiveness, while “Sally, in Parts” uses anatomy to narrate the relationship between a young woman and her father and her advancing sexual nature. All of these artistic jumps aid to the impact of the narration and bring Lee’s characters to life.

In all stories, except “Sisters” there is a mentioning of a investigation of remains of a number of murdered women found in the yard of a Vancouver dentist. The whole story of this is never told and is spread out in bits such as news and rumours. The murders are mysterious and eerie due to their absence and little recognition. Dead Girls is a thrilling, unnerving and wily novel.

– Review by Michael Nguyen

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March 21, 2012

The Hidden Facets Of Our City

by capreviewroom

What is it that really defines us, our relationships, and our connections to the world around us?

While we prefer to remember the good in our lives, it is how we react when we are at our worst that shows us who we really are.

Nancy Lee’s collection of shorts in Dead Girls is just that. Showing how a selection of characters cope, and are affected by various situations in their lives. While in the background, being influenced or reacting to the trial of a serial killer.

Set in Vancouver, but easily relatable to any metropolitan area, Dead Girls gives us a glimpse of eight pivotal moments in the lives of these various characters. From a mother who is yearning and searching for her missing daughter, to a Tattoo shop owner taking in a homeless woman. Each of these eight short stories will pull at your emotions, and with outstanding writing, make the situations applicable in your own life.

Although each story is short, the characters within feel well flushed out, with relatable flaws that we see in ourselves and our interactions with others. While reading Dead Girls it feels impossible not to emphasize with the characters you are following.

Not only is Dead Girls a showcase of emotional pressure, loss, and impulse in the individual. It dives into the typically ignored social culture that can be found in every metropolitan area. Drugs, prostitution, violence, vandalism, and sex, Dead Girls portrays each of these taboo topics in depth throughout all eight shorts.

With her first published work, Dead Girls, Nancy Lee has shown herself to be a writer to watch for this generation.

— Justin Chapdelaine

March 9, 2009

The God of Small Things

by cwilcox2

The God of Small Things                                                                    Chris Wilcox

Big ideas in small details, that is what The God of Small Things is about. The book takes place in Ayemenem, India a village not many have heard of. It is written by an Indian woman by the name of Arundhati Roy who uses this setting to emphasize “tragedy”. Roy has one constant thematic idea that comes up consistently which shows what can happen when small things build up into big problems. Even something as simple as “love” can have harsh consequences as it does in this book.. Roy presents these ideas in a way which seems harmless, yet end up in terribly horrific tragedies. Though there are rules on who should “be loved and how much”, the characters attempt to love in their own way and become victims of circumstance because of their small choices along the way.

Within the first chapter Roy introduces a dead character, Sophie Mol. Later on it’s explained how she drowned accidentally while out on a boat with Estha and Rahel trying to run away. The reason they run away is fueled by prior events dealing with love that take place in the twin’s lives. Though this seems like a very simple and harmless thing, it ends up causing more trouble than it appears for Estha and Rahel later. This stays as a constant throughout the novel as other tragedies unfold.

Probably the most troubling issue that is presented is when the twin’s mother, Ammu, has an affair with a man from the lowest caste. This man turns out to be an exceptional carpenter and mechanic who’s name is Velutha. Though their love affair is one of many in the world and makes both Velutha and Ammu happy, it ends in tragedy. By acting from the heart, the lovers are caught in their act and punished. Not only does Velutha die as a result of being caught, but this also has rippling affects on the twins. Evidently this ties into the reason Sophie Mol is dead in the beginning and why Estha and Rahel end up having intercourse with each other towards the end.

Arundhati Roy takes all these stories and ideas and really twists them together. The God of Small Things is an intricate web of small, harmless actions which turn into something destructive in a strict, Indian community. Roy really shows how something as pure as love can be beaten and deformed to the point where it’s just not beautiful anymore. Through the eyes of Estha and Rahel, Roy really drives home this fact that small actions can have rippling affects on those around us; even the people we love.