Neshama’s Choices for September 5th

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Girl in Ice

Val is summoned to Greenland where her twin brother Andy, working on a research project, has died. She’s a linguist and the team need her to find out what their “subject” is saying. Said girl, defrosted and brought to life (how is that possible?), is terrified and incomprehensible. Val is suspicious of the circumstances of Andy’s death, beset with fears and depression, not good with kids. But she makes a bond with the girl and decodes what she’s saying. Obsession and interpersonal tensions among team members add to the suspense. An amazing tale that kept me riveted.  I especially liked the audible version, very well acted; also I enjoyed the  opportunity to hear all those complex native and Scandinavian-derived words pronounced.  

How Strange A Season

The world is messed up, as we all know, and Bergman gives us specific examples in these short stories.  Like trying to convince fisherfolk in North Carolina to eat the lionfish that are decimating the reef in North Carolina.  Or checking out the legacy of a precariously perched house above the cliffs in Big Sur; one storm and she’s out of there. The novella, Indigo Run, encapsulates all the rot of southern plantation life through generations, literally and figuratively.  Vivid, atmospheric, sometimes chilling.  

Iron Annie

Aoife was fooled by Annie, in drag when they first meet, but soon discovers the joys of a woman lover. It’s a sketchy but satisfying life in this small Irish town but when the two set out to move 10 kilos of cocaine in England, things get very dicey. Cassidy writes in lively dialect which threw me at first, but I got used to it and started to enjoy it. Fascinating material on the travelers/tinkers element in town and the nature of loyalty among low life.  One detail that bothered me: how did she get back to Ireland with drugs and a dead body in the car?  

Little Rabbit

The protagonist is dubbed Rabbit by her much older lover, a famed choreographer, whom she met in Maine while in residency that summer.  She returns to her workaday life in Boston—arising at 5 to write, then to a boring administrate job. He pursues her. Up till then she’s been queer. Her good friend and roommate, Annie, is suspicious of this new relationship, especially since “Rabbit” has a hunger to be dominated. I kept wanting to tell her, “don’t do it” when she moves in with him. An uncomfortable, fascinating read about needs, exploitation, and the power of seduction.