Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Book Review: The Blue Place by Nicola Griffith

The Blue Place follows a very withdrawn Aud, who's floating through a very limited world as she tries to cope with the changes in her life and the events of her career to date. It's a pretty straightforward story, in many respects - Aud randomly crosses paths with Julia. After some suspicion, Julia hires her to investigate the death of her friend, and Aud takes the job out of a protectiveness she has trouble admitting.

Turns out that Julia is an unwitting witness to an art forgery ring, which is being run on the side by a man in under his head in yet more crime. For every loose end Aud ties up, another layer opens endangering Julia again.

They leave the city and travel back to Aud's homeland of Norway, where Aud gradually relaxes, connects with her roots and finally admits her feelings to Julia. Trouble unfortunately follows...
The Cat


The Blue PlaceThe writing in The Blue Place is clear and descriptive without overdoing the latter, which makes it easy to picture both the more pleasant parts (nature, sex, women, food) and the perhaps not so suitable for the squeamish parts (somewhat vivid descriptions of violence).

The pace felt appropriate, with a good mix of suspense throughout the main plot. Hints towards a deepening connection between Aud and Julia reach a smoothly incorporated climax (even literally). Despite the main plot and although it might be a little predictable, the romance doesn't come across as conveniently forced in alongside everything else.

If you're looking for lesbian main characters in a story where their being lesbian isn't made the focus and isn't tacked on as a token "and she likes women/is going to discover being attracted to women" either, this does the job.


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