Tuesday, 3 April 2012

Review: Hotspur

Hotspur by Rita Mae Brown

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I loved this.

It's not the first in this series, but I totally fell in love with the whole thing: the crazy-privileged fox-hunters, the certainty within the text that American fox-hunting is very different from English fox-hunting, getting all the thoughts of the animals... All of a sudden it's not so odd that Rita Mae Brown credits her cat with co-authoring her mysteries.

It harked back to one of the guilty pleasures of my late teens - Francine Pascal's "Caitlin" series. I don't think Francine Pascal actually wrote them, as she often had ghostwriters, like other ridiculously prolific authors of the time. In any event, the Caitlin books were about a ridiculously rich Virginia heiress who adored horses. I don't recall there being any fox-hunting involved (although there may have been) but I loved them, for all their ridiculousness.

I loved this book for the same reason: the horses, the bizarre Englishness of this patch of the USA that I have had little to do with, and the fabulousness of Sister Jane.

Ah, Sister Jane. It seems a pity that she is so straight, and so very widowed. This is a series written by one of the great queer writers, and certainly in this book the queerness of Ralph Assumptio is very matter of fact and generally accepted by all the other characters. But Sister Jane could have been an awesome, AWESOME dyke heroine, but she's not. And I'm sad about that.

It's not going to keep me from reading every other book in this series that I can get my hands on. Because this is total mind candy. And as I said, I loved it.

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