Monday, 14 May 2012

Review: Bitin' Back

Bitin' Back
Bitin' Back by Vivienne Cleven

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Vivienne Cleven is a triple threat for this years challenges. She's an indigenous Queer Australian woman, which means that I can count her book against three challenges. Plus, she's an awesome writer.

I did find "Bitin' Back" a bit difficult to get through. I raced through the first fifty pages, captured by the dialogue and the life and the in-your-face-ness, but then I got bogged down by the difference between Mavis' attitude towards Nevil's presumed homosexuality and my own attitude. It wasn't until I began reading Marie Munkara's Every Secret Thing that I found the way to read Mavis Dooley. I think it's because I personalise things so very much; I kept internalising Mavis' issues and placing her opinions on myself. There was something in Munkara's book that reminded me to read Mavis as her own person without imposing her ideas on me.

I needed that distance from Nevil and Trevor and Mavis in order to be able to read this. The language, the art of writing in this book is absolutely first class. The topic was too close and that's what caused the issues in reading it, but the book itself is amazingly awesome, and I'm so very, very glad that I found my way through.

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