Wednesday, 20 November 2013

Book Review: Colette, by Michelina Vinter

Abusive husband, a lonely pregnancy, this book captured my imagination. I've be
en learning a lot about WW II from my history buff hubby. This is the kind of book that can bring such a period to life. A love story, that infuses women's history with a sense of adventure, it didn't quite measure up. An excellent saga that portrays the French women who worked undercover as unsung heroes, to keep the Nazis at bay. Too little is written about the women who served in World War II. The author transports us to a different time and place, WW II, with a lusty sense of the female spirit, oft-hidden during these times. An inspiring story that documents the war brides who gave up their homeland to come to the North American continent.

What it lacks is credibility, in that that the author seems to titillate the reader by including sexually-explicit love scenes, while most women of that era didn't refer to their body parts using the correct nomenclature. Nor would they have been aware of an orgasm. I was quite surprised. My late mother was born in 1925. She was engaged, and lost her first fiance, a soldier, in the war. She was neither educated in physiology, nor would she have have willingly discussed her 'private parts!' Their generation saw sex as an opportunity to create children, not as an opportunity for orgasms.

The dialogue rings hollow for me. One of her characters, John, is purportedly from a Chinese family and what is sadly lacking is any sense of Asian culture, as well as an understanding of values and traditions. It wasn't until after World War II, when soldiers brought home Asian wives, that the Anti-Asian anti-miscegenation laws were repealed. These laws prohibited whites from marrying Asians beginning in the 1800s.

Another issue with this novel is the starkness of its landscape. As a reader, when I travel to France, to the US, or to other parts of Canada, this is when I most wish to be treated to a portrait I can see in mind. To smell, taste and feel a new place, in a new part of the world. The heroine was able to cook for an entire wedding party, but I did not get a sense of the fine foods some from a place, such as Paris, should be able to create. As a superficial, light novel, it was a fine, light read, but at less than 250 pages, I was not able to explore and truly understand the setting, the sense of place and history of WW II.

Finally, Colette, seemed to possess super powers. An excellent cook, able to take a man down with karate, a well-versed acupuncturist, as well as wife and mother, who could use her tools to kill, simply was fantastic.

New Historical Novel COLETTE Creates Journey Of Unsung WWII Heroine

San Rafael, CA. June 6, 2013 – Author Michelina Vinter weaves an inspiring tale of a na├»ve
young French woman swept off her feet to America on the brink of World War II. Betrayal and
loss follow her across war torn continents until she finds the strength to love.

Disillusioned within weeks of arrival, Colette forges a path to self discovery that leads her to a kind
young man who is everything her philandering new husband is not. As war breaks out she is torn
between duty, love, and fear for her family left behind. A desperate call for help lands her in the
clutches of occupied France where her true odyssey begins.

1 comment:

Bill Nicholls said...

Hubby a history buff, he's on the wrong side of the Atlantic, should be here where there are loads of remnats about. I did some field work for a lady called Diana M Deluca who wrote a book on a Halifax crew (the field word was for adifferent book) I know about the ladys who ferry planes as the cemeterys have quite a few War gaves with them in.