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Monday, August 31, 2009

The Lie by Fredrica Wagman

The Lie by Fredrica Wagman
Publisher: Zoland Books / Steerforth Press
Pages: 214

From the Cover: Coming of age in 1940s and 1950s America, Ramona Smollens takes her cues about female sexuality from Hollywood movie stars. None is more voluptuous than Rita Hayworth, the redhead who knows how to please a man and becomes a volcano of passion at her lover's touch, whose image inspired American flyers on their missions in World War II and even graced the first atomic bomb tested at the Bikini atoll. Ramona marries young and escapes her mother's house shortly after the death of her father. She takes with her a dark family secret, the sort of secret one simply did not talk about and that would stalk her as she matured into her role as wife and mother, remained a devoted daughter to her aging mother, and secretly harbored an obsession with the iconic Hayworth.

The fictional story Wagman tells of one woman's struggle with the conventions of her day is a bold literary achievement. Underpinning it all is the sad, unspoken truth of the real-life, flesh-and-blood Hayworth, the woman whose father sexually abused her. "Men go to bed with Gilda," She used to say, "but wake up with me." During Hayworth's lifetime, the public had no understanding of the depth of mean, and pain, behind Hayworth's seemingly self-effacing words. To Ramona, and millions of women like her, Hayworth's on-screen persona seemed the ideal, but was in fact "the lie." With this novel, Wagman realizes Kafkas famous dictum that "a book must be the axe that breaks the frozen sea within us."

Ramona Smollens is sad, misunderstood young woman who just wants someone to love and to be loved back. She see her life through the eyes of the fascination with her idol, Rita Hayworth. Her father who was abusive and detached from his family has dropped dead and her mother is a worn out woman who gets her jollies by making Ramona feel bad; about herself, about her choice in a man, and about life in general. Ramona is a young woman who was used to the abuse of an uncaring and unfeeling family.

The man she chooses to marry, is the man her mother disparages over and over again. Ramona's true fascination with her future husband, started with his hands and his fingers, as well as with her fascination with sex. Not that she enjoys sex, but she feels there is a need for sex. But she figures, that's okay. After all, the sex bomb goddess herself, Rita Hayworth, was married five times. As Ramona goes through life with her unsuccessful marriage and her quest for satisfaction that is never fulfilled, she continues to compare herself to Rita Hayworth.

The Lie by Fredrica Wagman is a story that follows lead character, Ramona, through her life. She has based her life on what she assumes it must have been like to be Rita Hayworth. It is a tale of an unfulfilled life with no idea how to achieve what is important all related to her need to escape the abuse that she has lived through. Ramona's constant comparison to Rita Hayworth to the point of sometimes using Rita as her name is almost scary. Her detachment from reality and her inability to seek happiness, takes the reader on a journey that is not for the faint of heart, but a worthy one. The Lie will be revealed by the end of the tale for those willingly to complete the journey. If you'd like more information about Fredrica Wagman or her books, please visit her website at http://www.fredricawagman.com/ .

10 comments:

Leontine said...

It sounds like an intense but gratifying read Dottie, very interesting Dottie.

My Blog 2.0 (Dottie) said...

Hi Leontine!

Interesting is just the right word, it was a hard read. She had so many problems.

Dottie :)

Blodeuedd said...

Yes it does sound very intense. I hope the writer handles the problems well cos then it would be an interesting read

Blodeuedd said...

Hi Dottie,
I am back. You see I am figuring out which books to order from Amazon, and then I remembered those cool books you read, casa Dracula by someone?
Good enough to give a try?
Oh and any other suggestions?

So far I am thinking Vampire Academy by Rachel Mead cos I hear such good things about it. The first Patricia Briggs book. Sea Witch by V.Kantra, Stray by Rachel Vincent and first Angie Fox book :)

My Blog 2.0 (Dottie) said...

Hi Blodeuedd!

Casa Dracula by Marta Acosta (there are three books in the series so far with a fourth in progress). They're an excellent read with lots of humor. Vampire Academy Series by Richelle Mead is excellent, two types of vampires and the Morganville Vampire Series by Rachel Caine are excellent as well, Morganville, TX, a town where vampires are in charge and humans are subservient to them.

All of your picks are excellent, all will be great reading, hope you like Rachel Vincent's series.

Dottie :)

Barbara said...

Dottie, first, I LOVE that cover! You amaze me with your range of reading. Seriously. This book actually sounds pretty good! Thank you for bringing it to my attention. I likely wouldn't have found it otherwise. I'm going to check it out on Amazon.

Hope you had a great Monday!

((hugs))

My Blog 2.0 (Dottie) said...

Hi Barbara!

This is definitely a different read. Interesting and thought provoking to say the least and very intense.

Have a great week!

Dottie :)

Blodeuedd said...

Thanks Dottie :)
Hm, I do think I might go for Acosta since I would love some humour in my paranormal.
Really have to go with Mead and Vincent.

Looked at Caine, oh no the choices ;) But she is on my wishlist. I just have to start picking soon.

Ladytink_534 said...

I just love this cover. I don't know too much about Hayworth though I do know who she is but I have to admit that the premise intrigues me!

My Blog 2.0 (Dottie) said...

Hi LadyTink!

It was an interesting read to say the least. I did love the cover, it's what attracted me to the book. I learn more about Rita Hayworth than I actually wanted to know, but it was all good.

Dottie :)

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