First things first, this post is intended either for those of you who have read this book or for those who could have but chose not to. This is not a book review, and there might be spoilers ahead. And just so you know, regardless of everything that I’ll say next, I actually like this book 🙂
Since I have been restlessly postponing to get myself in a decent store and buy an actual Kindle, I decided to give Kindle for PC a try. Because it is an integral part of Windows 8, it’s already installed on my laptop. Perks of this is that I still haven’t figured out how to display real page numbers and this detail renders the whole experience very Kafka-esque. I will explain why:
Awakenings is a nice story about a straight woman falling for a lesbian. Most of the time NOTHING happens. The said straight woman is Jamie. Her duty in the book is to portray the stereotypical straight woman from a gay point of view: fragile (no, anemic! or maybe even cataleptic… she passes out every now and then), emotionally needy but somehow unable to leave her jerk of a fiance, Jack, who is a borderline sociopath. The character she falls for is Ryan, a boldly “out” and gorgeous woman who’s hobby is to sleep around. Despite the libido, Ryan is everything a gay woman, a straight woman, a straight man or even a gay man would want if they could ever convince her to get involved. She is the only thing that keeps the story going. I honestly loved this character.
The story is told in a very… VERY slow pace. Nearly realistic. Every… single… detail… Who wears what, who orders which meal from the menu, how does she cook her lasagna… If you want to perfect your “diagonal reading” It is actually a very good book to exercise on. If it was an actual book (and not Kindle PC) I think I would have stabbed it.
So, there I was, scrolling through pages of Jamie with her obscenely wealthy but emotionally retarded family, her boring relationship and awful sex life with Jack, then waow! Awesome love scene between Ryan and some random sex buddy, but then back to Jack’s insecurities and how much he excels in the art of assholeness with the way he treats Jamie.
The relation between Jamie and Ryan is obviously romantic, Jamie spends all her time fantasizing about her (and sometimes in a rather graphic way), Ryan treats her so heavenly nicely, and you are just waiting for Ryan to stop being such an honest, perfectly trustworthy, decent human being and just grab her friend and make a woman out of her!
The thing is, since nothing else ever happens, as the reader we are entirely focused on the relationship between those two and how much this relationship is more than just friendship. We want to see it fulfilled. We root for them. We want to read how Jamie will handle her newly discovered sexual identity, how is she going to confront her fiance, her parents… But this is just pushed further and further away. So much that after a while it becomes surrealistic. At one point, I can’t say where because there are no page numbers (thank you Kindle PC!), I just counted and the characters hugged each other 5 times during an overall 2 minutes dialog! I’m not yet at this point of intimacy with my fiancee… not even with my own self (and that’s saying a lot cause we go way back).
When those two finally kissed, I had the impression to have finished War and Peace. That’s how long it took! Then they went home and started to get intimate. I was ready to admit that the book had surprised me and that maybe it wasn’t entirely and solely based on delayed gratification but then… It was all a dream… Of course
Susan X. Meagher is a very good writer. Much better than I can ever wish to be. I am sure that there are many people who righteously enjoyed this book and all the others in the series. But I should have bought it as a paperback copy. Kindle PC definitely ruined it!