A well-written fictionalization of an interesting person in a different time. I admired the strength of the relationships between the characters, and wanted all of them to achieve what they desired. Suspenseful and intimate.
Some of the strongest and most compassionate characters in literary history. Greta became my hero and I wanted Lili to get her heart's desire so badly!
I got confused if the man or the women were speaking the transition was weird
This is a fantastic novel--beautifully written historical fiction that creates a very strong sense of place and time and explores two very distinctive characters and the subtle shifts of power within their relationship. The sentences are gorgeous, but not distracting, and I raced through the novel wanting to see how the character would grow and change. Ebershoff also manages the difficult job of plausibly imagining how two people from a very different time might have thought about being intersex and transgender at a time when their was no public conversation about those ways of being.
My only caveat: the novel is so much of its era it wouldn't be useful for readers who don't know anything about intersex & trans people and are looking for an introduction to those experiences; Lili's analogs today live in a vastly different world that understands and misunderstands them differently. But I can't fault a novel for serving its characters instead of public education.
Hmmm The audio reader isn't the best & the first chapter just put me off. Boring conversations between man/wife. Not a recommend unless you want some fairly explicit explanation of acts I'd rather not hear about.
This book reads more like a travelogue than a novel. The sentences are overly long, often wandering off topic. It totally misrepresents the actual relationship between the couple.
An unusual story, beautifully written.
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