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Brittle Bondage par Anne Mather

Brittle Bondage (édition 1994)

par Anne Mather (Auteur)

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Brittle Bondage by Anne Mather released on Dec 23, 1994 is available now for purchase.
Titre:Brittle Bondage
Auteurs:Anne Mather (Auteur)
Info:Mills & Boon (1994), Edition: New edition, 192 pages
Collections:Read 2021, Votre bibliothèque

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Brittle Bondage par Anne Mather


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So, I found this on a give-away bookshelf, and was gently interested in how the Mills and Boons from when I was a teenager have stood the passage of time and my increasing wokeness.

The answer is... pretty much as you would expect. So it's an easy read, and within its own framework it has romance, sex, and a happy ending.

But it would be wrong to say that the suck fairy has not spread her wings over it. The plot is that Rachel, down and depressed after numerous miscarriages, kicks out her husband after finding their au pair naked in their bed. After two years of bringing up their child on her own, she has found someone else and is ready to move on, but will Ben her husband let her have the divorce she wants?

Unsurprisingly the answer is no, and eventually she realises she should be with her husband after all. This book! You can really see the issues with consent, and communication, and class, and infantalising of women... Both Ben and Rachel's mum spend the whole book knowing what's best for her. And what's best for her is making sure her child can keep going to the posh school, getting back with her husband, and deciding that actually it was bad to have a job and she'll stay home and have lots more children.

The Other Man is painted as bad for lots of reasons, some valid, but there is endless belittling of the fact he's a Farmer, and a farmer who actually wants to sleep with his girlfriend before committing to spending the rest of his life with her, and neither of those things actually felt that bad to me.

Ben is Not Evil because it turns out poor pregnant teenagers are Snares of Entrapment, and he has been totally set up by her. You do end up thinking that given how blatantly obvious this is (at the point when Rachel actually starts to check out Ben's story, the evidence trail is a mile wide) they could have talked to each other about it at some point previously. [Also, it's a Ridiculous plan - in what world does 'huzzah, I have scared your wife off by saying we are having an affair, now you will look after me because I'm pregnant' stand _any_ chance of working?]

Still, I could almost have suspended my disbelief and enjoyed the Happy Ever After, if it wasn't that after everything, we're supposed to be rooting for him as the Good Guy now, he casually says 'Oh, I had a couple of duplicate keys made while your mother was staying here. At her suggestion.' Like, WTF? If your ex changes the locks so you can't get into their house, you respect that as a perfectly normal boundary,you don't sneak a copy in cahoots with their mother!

I guess I mostly ended up being very relieved I wasn't living in a small gossipy village where women's lives were heavily policed to the point where if a car was parked outside your house all night your boyfriend knew about it the next day.

Oh, and if you're reading it because the title led you to at least hope for a bit of bondage, no luck here. Although it's quite rapey dub-con in places!

Overall, it is very much of its time, and I think a good example of how the world has changed since the 1990s. 30 years turns out to be a lot! ( )
  atreic | Oct 14, 2021 |
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