The Goddess and the Thief by Essie Fox (Orion Books, 2013)
The Goddess and the Thief was a book I’d put on my Christmas list last year because, as a book worm, a book is the perfect present.
I can’t remember how this book had come to my attention; whether it was a recommendation from friends on Goodreads, or whether it was from one of the many Facebook pages I have liked.
The blurb sounded promising. A girl, called Alice, is uprooted from her life in India and is made to live with her spiritual medium aunt in Windsor, in Victorian England. “Alice,” says the blurb, “is drawn into a plot to steal a sacred Indian diamond.”
After reading the novel The Lie Tree by Frances Hardinge (which I absolutely loved) I thought The Goddess and the Thief would be right up my street.
Except, it really wasn’t.
Unlike The Lie Tree, the heroine of The Goddess and the Thief doesn’t really do much. She spends most of the novel in her bedroom, or locked in bedrooms, or completely in the dark. She is always reacting to things and not being proactive at all.
I get it. That’s her story arc – from someone who reacts to events to someone taking control – but it’s so boring! And annoying. And, SPOILER (so if you don’t want to know, please don’t read on) at one point she is sexually assaulted and she swoons after the man who raped her. Not cool, not cool at all. Very, very damaging stuff that. Very troubling to read and I’m not easily troubled by stuff.
The blurb on Goodreads tells says that The Goddess and the Thief is “A beguiling and sensual Victorian novel of theft and obsession.”
It may be a novel of theft and obsession but it really isn’t sensual. Creepy? Yes. Sensual…? Hell no!
And for that person at the back who is saying, “blimey, everyone is so easily offended these days!” F*#k off.
Only joking 🙂
I’m not easily offended, and, I’m not offended by this work. I just find things like this are so unhelpful.
Anyway, I give this book one out of five stars.
Many people on Amazon and Goodreads loved it. You might love it. It just didn’t float my boat.
Great for those who like beautiful prose (the first few chapters are beautifully written). Not great for those who like a pro-active heroine.