When I say that books ferment on my backlog, they sit there for so long, I wasn't joking. This volume's pages have acquired a distinctly yellow cast that was not present when I first acquired it. >_<Lee, Tanith. A Bed of Earth. New York: Overlook, 2002.Summary
: Book III of The Secret Books of Venus
quartet. The gravedigger Bartolome discovers in middle age when he at last meets his soulmate Flavia of the Barbarons discovers that they were destined in love to unite two clans feuding due to disputed burial ground. Instead, he perished unborn in the womb of his terribly wronged mother, and a ghostly afterimage of the person he would have been meets and falls in love with another Barbaron, Beatrixa--and they answer fate. The afterimage Silvio eventually finds happiness by befriending a bereaved widow, and Bartolome, who cannot have children, in the end meets "his" child, product of her union with Silvio and "quickened" by the seed of Chesare Borja.Comments
: Regal in its stately, slowgoing prose and wondrously comprehensible after all of the convoluted narrative threads are woven so beautifully together. Of course, this is at heart a Romeo & Juliet
-esque plotline, save that only the first of many couples die together. I am distinctly reminded of Lee's much earlier Silver Metal Lover
since it too deals with the nature of love, spirituality, and reincarnation, but that book is a hack job in comparison to this one. I'm not a big fan of esoteric mystical explanations of anything, but at least Lee's not trying to trump science with them--only history and traditional Christian religion. Italy lovers and history buffs should get a real jolt out of what Lee does here; everything from architecture to the meals on the table are sumptuously described. And if you're looking for dark fantasy-laced sex and violence (Death by castration! Death by flamingo!??), you've come to the right place. About the only discordant note I noticed struck was the Dionyssa subplot, the most fragile and least thought-out of the narrative threads. Notes
: hardcover, 1st American editionRating
- Read it alone or with the rest of the series, doesn't matter. The pleasures are manifold regardless.