Thursday, February 23, 2012

Not worth the Trip

I was excited to read Lulu in Marrakech by Diane Johnson, because I had read Le Divorce by Johnson, and liked it more than I expected.  Le Divorce is the story of an American tourist learning about life in Paris through the eyes of her sister, who is an American ex-pat.  The observations in terms of what the tourist expected and what the ex-pat had learned were so astute, that I found myself thinking back to the book while I was in Paris, a year or two after reading it.  I had hoped that Lulu would give me the same understanding of Marrakech, but that was not to be.

Lulu is the story of an American working as some sort of a spy while living with her boyfriend in Morocco.  As a spy, Lulu is incredibly bumbling, and not in an endearing way.  She allows herself to become involved in the lives of the people who she is reporting about to the extent that she hopes to marry one of them, her boyfriend, Ian.  Late in the story, when she fears Ian is cheating on her, instead of acting like a normal person, she just waits around as his house guest, while the suspected "other woman" moves in.  If that wouldn't blow her cover as a spy, I don't know what would.  Ultimately, she dismisses the mistress as being too "dumb" for Ian, which made me think that the mistress must be an absolute imbecile, if she is dumber than Lulu. 

Lulu is a book worth skipping, and I would not have finished it at all, if I hadn't read Le Divorce and expected more of Johnson.  I got it at The Typical Book Exchange, but I won't be saving it to re-exchange at this year's event.  I am on vacation in Florida right now, and think that I will leave Lulu behind in the rental home, for the next person who is desperate for something to read.  At least I have one more done for the Off the Shelf Challenge

Speaking of my vacation, as part of our trip we visited the Ringling Circus Museum a couple of days ago.  This got me thinking of Water For Elephants by Sara Gruen  and reminded me that I haven't seen that movie yet.  I'll have to check it out as soon as I get home.  If you are ever in the Sarasota area, the museum is worth seeing.

Next Up:  Emma by Jane Austen

On Vacation From Listening to:  Helen of Troy by Margaret George.  I finished 6 of the 25 discs before leaving on my vacation, and really wish that I had brought the rest with me.  George has a great way of making a long, historical story really interesting.

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