Thursday, June 21, 2007

In the Tenth House

I didn't make my salon appointment today; I had to reschedule for tomorrow. I'm having a massive flare-up of my RA, so I'm spending the day in bed reading, or at least I'm trying. My body needs the rest, but my mind sees clutter in the house and wants to do something about it. I'm compensating by blogging, at least then I'm doing something. Doogie and Mia spent the afternoon playing in the sprinkler outside. The weather is beautiful today. Another ferocious storm blew over us last night. We got hit with 1/2" hail and 60+mph winds. The winds from a storm earlier this week broke my new windchimes. This is the kind of weather I love: mid-70s and sunny during the day, colorful and loud storms at night. I'm joining a new blogging community called wismoms (Wisconsin Moms). I'm not sure of the format yet, but I'll give more details as I get them.

In the Tenth House by Laura Dietz is a literary thriller full of twists and turns. Ambrose Gennett, respected alienist in Victorian London, observes Lily Embley at the Victoria Station as she bumps into a man and is knocked down. He rushes to her aid and her reaction to his help startles and intrigues him. Her ramblings sound like prophesies or do her prophesies sound like rambing? Her words about a threat to his mother's safety causes him to rush to his family home, only to find his mother is perfect, if absent-minded, health. He curses himself for believing Lily's nonsense, but finds that he can't get her out of his head and begins to pursue her. Lily and her mother Carola are mediums, and masters at their game of deception and misleading, but they are behind in the rent and living in fear of a loanshark named Bettering. Lily sees Gennett as the Page of Cups and decides that fate has brought them together, but for what reason she doesn't know. Gennett and Lily justify their fascination and obsession with each other in their own way. Gennett determines to expose her trickery and that of all spiritualists in an attempt to free not only his sister from their sway, but also for the betterment of the world's mental health. Lily sees their relationship as deemed by fate and refuses to aid or deter Gennett. Lily is truly a passive vessel in the story. She is whatever is expected of her and when she finally takes action on her own, it brings about destruction for them both. Gennett won't admit to desiring Lily, so he sabotages his own career and reputation. Working in the background against them both are Bettering and Gennett's sister Ernestine. Each work as puppetmasters manipulating everyone for their own reasons. Dietz gives detail about both the spiritualism movement as well as the beginnings of Freudian psychology with engaging ability. The tension in the story tightens subtly, almost unnoticeably, until the climax between Gennett and Lily. The epilogue is almost a given, but a sad one at that. Victorian mores are present in every scene and the writing is equally restrained. It's not always an easy read, but it's worth the effort.

The contest to win a copy of Gone with the Groom by Janice Thompson is still open. Just leave a comment talking about the song you share with your significant other.


Snoskred said...

Hi, it's Snoskred here. I've recently become a blogging chick and have set myself a challenge to comment on as many Blogging Chick blogs as I can. So that's why I'm here. ;)

We had a bad storm here and now it's just really cold. Nothing too significant about that, because I am in Australia and this is winter. Supposedly. I am hoping it might snow. It's never snowed here before that I know of, but one can hope, and it feels cold enough to snow today. ;) But you guys in Wisconsin know all about snow, I guess!