Sunday, October 14, 2012

Slow Burn by Sabina Murray

Party girl resists her fate 

I wasn't particularly interested in this story of a rich promiscuous young woman's nightly drinking binges, but once I started reading I was immediately sucked into the narrator's very concrete sense of unhappiness and was compelled to find out what happened next. The main character is Isobel, a rich girl from the Manila upper class, who will not be controlled by her society's rigid rules about class and gender. The scenes are mostly set in affluent bars, restaurants and the opera hall. In some ways, the story progressed like a Jane Austen novel.

Isobel doesn't play nicely with the other girls, or even with the other guys. She lets herself be used by men. To get something or feel something. She likes outraging people, and in fact there is another kind of outrage here simmering underneath. An outrage at a deeply macho, deeply corrupt society.

At the end, a supernatural element enters the story with a fortune teller and a curse and a madman with a gun. I enjoyed it.


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