Mrs. Caliban by Rachel Ingalls
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
This review contains spoilers...
A close friend gave me a copy of this book and told me how much she adored it. (I also had to solemnly promise to give her back the book once I was done.) She thought that since I like fantasy and sci-fi that this would be up my alley, but now that I've read it, I think that I'm actually the wrong sort because I wanted to know more about Larry, I was willing to accept his existence. I was ready for an adventure, not to wonder at the end if Larry was real and be depressed.
Dorothy, the main character, is so sad. She's a housewife, who has lost two children. She and her husband merely share an address, nothing more. Larry, the frog-like man, who hides out at her house, gives her some relief. He brightens her day. He engages with her, does stuff with her, cares about her. He is the ideal lover. Things sort of float along like that for a bit until it all crashes spectacularly for Dorothy.
I don't get the point of this story. Dorothy just seems so pathetic. She's unhappy and does nothing to improve herself. Unless imagining a monster to come play house with her is her solution. The climax seems like an anticlimax that leaves Dorothy completely alone. I mean completely alone. It was such a bummer of a story. It isn't bittersweet. There doesn't appear to be a ray of hope for Dorothy at the end. I'm left wondering what was the point.
I see a great many people did enjoy this story. And I think it's because they were on board with taking Larry as a figment of Dorothy's imagination and reading things more metaphorically and allegorically. While me with my love of fantasy, wanted to believe in Larry and have him be real. I'll be interested to hear what my friend thinks of this story. It obviously resonated with her a great deal.
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