Tuesday, August 10, 2010

The More I Owe You by Michael Sledge

First of all, right off the bat, I gotta say, for two women that obviously made enough impact on the world in the 1950s to go down in history and even have a novel written about their romance, they sure did live very dull lives. (That's if this book is anything to go by.)

Elizabeth Bishop, the heroine of this tale, was a real American poet. This novel is about her love affair with Lota de Macedo Soares, a Brazilian architect. During a bad time in her life, Elizabeth travels to Brazil. She is an alcoholic, has various ailments, suffers from bad memories regarding her mentally ill mother, and really, just fades into the background of this story.

If you are looking for a story about Elizabeth Bishop, this may not be for you. Lota de Macedo Soares def steals the show. Her character is so strong where Elizabeth is so weak.. Lota controls everything. What she commands, Elizabeth does. Lota is obsessed with architecture and is building her house.. Much... TOO MUCH of this book is about that bloody house.

And the story goes somewhat like this: (AFTER Lota dumps her live in partner and demands Elizabeth moves in with her) The women talk about poetry, they talk about the house, they get a flat tire, they talk about poetry, they talk about the house, Elizabeth gets sick, they talk about the house.. and between all this talk of the house, the book goes on and on and on about Brazilian flora and fawna and roads and other people's houses.

I made it to 40% and after falling asleep twice, I called it quits.

There's one thing keeping this from being a mere one star book tho. I laughed my butt off for half an hour upon reading this bit here:

Elizabeth: "If you watch any Brazilian man for five minutes, you'll see him scratching and adjusting himself. It's as if they're constantly arranging flowers in a vase."

Lota: "Those aren't flowers. Those are the jewells of Brazil! If they didn't keep grabbing their balls, they'd forget they were men. That's the problem with this country: The men have to keep reminding themselves they are men, and the women are even worse. They have no balls, either!"

I bought this book from Amazon.


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