Alexander Chee's The Queen of the Night
This book has gotten so much positive buzz, but I . . . did not love it. Maybe the article on the theory of adaptation has ruined books for me? The protagonist and her love interest are certainly guilty of insta-love; also, she definitely describes the breasts of other women on more than one occasion. MALE AUTHORS, amirite? It's also that, although I found her story interesting, I never actually CARED about her or anything that happened to her. ANYWAY, this is the story of an opera singer, inspired by a real historical singer, rising to fame as the Second Empire of France is falling, and what happens when she is approached about starring in a brand new opera--which happens to be the exact story of her secret past! The first 2/3rds flash back and forth in time, to varying effect; things move along better toward the end, but like I said, I never really cared about anything that happened. Maybe it was all of the specific discussion of many, many operas--I am not at all interested in opera and this book would have been a lot shorter without all that (and I do think it could have been shorter). The writing and plotting are all very operatic, too. In retrospect, I was not the ideal reader for this book. B.
A review copy was provided by the publisher. This book is available now.