“Once, while at the Bedford Academy, we were made to learn all about the carnivorous plants of the Americas. Most of the other schoolchildren were fascinated by the violent Venus flytrap, with its hinged leaves like a series of tiny bear traps. But I was more intrigued with the pitcher plant, with its much more alluring tubes shaped like upside-down bells, and the simple premise of its sweet nectar bait.”
This is sometimes awfully nice, like here, when Rose is describing her attraction to Odalie (“language too easily corrupts, you see, and falls short”), but it comes just before she protests too much against a “dreadfully Sapphic” reading. Rindell probably stresses too much that we shouldn’t trust her narrator; there are increasing hints that she is institutionalized, and there’s her general tendency toward prudery that’s undermined by her actions (and by her pointing out how her actions contradict her prudery). Despite that, though, this bit strikes the balance between innocence and knowingness just about perfectly.
May 24, 2013, 11:00am Comments