The Catch Trap by Marion Zimmer Bradley
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
I'm interested in what other writers of GLBT think of Marion Zimmer Bradley. I feel almost as if a piece of her got blown into my heart a decade ago. Like a dandelion gone to seed.
The Mists of Avalon was the first Arthurian legend based book that answered the need I had to see strong female characters in my favorite myth. Poor old Lord Tennyson had pretty much destroyed the women of the Round Table for me. Mindless idiots and evil witches. The Mists of Avalon was a sort of redemption.
Bradley was incredibly prolific and I haven't read all of her books. I'm thinking I may get myself down to a local used bookstore and find a few that I've missed.
This one reads, at times, like fan fiction. There are thousands of tiny story arcs shooting off into space while we follow the main three: Family, Flying trapeze history, and illegal love.
The last is handled with such insight and sympathy I am stunned every time I read it. She describes the loneliness, self-hatred and fear. The anger at having to hide this one true and beautiful thing in ones life, as if one is ashamed. And she does it simply and subtly, not hammering it home or making too much of it.
I think it ads to the book to know that one of her husbands was a gay man with whom she had a child. They were eventually divorced, but he and she remained friends. Bradley's deep compassion and love for human beings permeates all of her books. Her women and men are strong, sympathetic, and filled with mutual respect for each other.
The book is over 600 pages long. I've read it twice now. Towards the end, I find myself slowing and reading every page, savoring the world and the characters. This time I waited a week to read the last twenty pages, just to make it last.
I wish I could have met her. Her voice, nonetheless, is one of those that lives in my head.
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