(This is, incidentally, why I never saw the film because it would have all the loathed bits without the writing to soothe my vexation.)
Ok so but then this. The first bit is all Marriage is fine for other people, but my Brazilian lover and I, we have seen too much and are therefore all Ick, marriage, and so I am like, Then why get married, you smug thing, and then she is like, And then he got deported and the only way he could come back was for us to get married, and then I felt bad because that’s pretty legit.
She gives off this sense of being draggggged into things against her will but you KNOW that she’s secretly all, Sweet, I will write a book from this. So she’s investigating the history of marriage in the West
for book fodder to better understand her future chance of success, and then also she and the Brazilian are gadding about Asia while they wait for the beaurocracy and she pries into various locals’ personal lives. For research.
And she keeps being like, I’m not a sociologist…but I’mma make some generalizations and pronouncements. She refers fairly often to ‘the Western woman,’ and even when I am like, Yes, that is how I do, you are reading my mail on this one, I am reluctant to believe that all Western women are like me, like this. If they are, we are in a heap of beans. Needless to say, when she’s all ‘Whoever that modern Western woman is, I can promise you that her story will concern two people – herself and her spouse’ I get fairly smashy. Some of us do other things besides have boyfriends or spend a year trying really hard not to have a boyfriend (and then ending up with boyfriend).
Her historical tid-bittery is engaging, maybe because I trust her book-research more than her field-research. But the writing that got me over my semi-dislike in EPL was lacking here. I hate when people introduce a list of things by saying Here’s a list of things, and I’m irked when an easily-replacable phrase like ‘you could tell’ is used twice in back-to-back sentences.
In the end, I’m unsure how to feel about this. Gilbert speaks my language – jovial white girl, casual tourist, occasionally pissed by how The Man is screwing her – but I LIVE with my own voice. I read to live a thousand lives, not to have my own ignorant worldview parrotted back to me.
Feh. Five caterpillars, because there was one fairly astute bit about the Western tendency to put all of your happiness eggs into one basket, and then expect that basket to notice when you’ve colored your hair.