Outrageous bullying for the good of the family in G B Stern’s The Matriarch

There is something particularly enjoyable about a female villain in fiction, written for readers who expect women to be pure, perfect, and positive. I did a podcast miniseries in 2012 on jaw-droppingly awful, truly appalling female characters, all behaving badly. It was immense fun to research and write, because these characters are so vile that when I’m reading them, they … Continue reading Outrageous bullying for the good of the family in G B Stern’s The Matriarch

George Eliot with the gloves off: Patricia Duncker’s Sophie and the Sibyl

Expect energetic storytelling in this excellent novel about the manipulative life and marital sufferings of George Eliot. It’s also a gently funny love story between Max Duncker, a vain and very young dilettante publisher and the thunderingly hearty Sophie, a German countess who never glides gracefully when she can pound across a ballroom. Other pleasing details in … Continue reading George Eliot with the gloves off: Patricia Duncker’s Sophie and the Sibyl