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Three Weeks: The Finaling

The end! It's finally done! Why I ever thought we should read an Elinor Glyn novel, I do not know, but now at least we have.

I apologize, but I did like this metaphor:

But no sight of her writing gladdened his eyes, until he began to be like the sea and its tides, rising twice a day in a rushing hope with the posts, and sinking again in disappointment.

I GUESS the Mystery Woman has a recessive blonde gene in her past, because this dark-haired woman has a blonde baby in what feels like weird colonialism. But here we are in 1907! Paul is a father from afar and we are told by Captain Grigsby that she is from Russia and the baby will definitely inherit some vague throne.

Since she's Russian, are we to assume the Russian throne? This feels in bad taste, but only because we know what happens to the Russian royal family. Speaking of which, Prince Alexei was born to the Romanov dynasty in 1904, thereby ending their worries about the succession since the royal family had previously had four daughters. Just as a fun contextual side note.

Paul is telegrammed to meet Dmitry in Paris, so he messages back that he will be staying in a "caravenserai." I'd never heard of this before, and it is in fact "caravansary" and means "an inn with a central courtyard for travelers in the desert regions of Asia or North Africa." So a tad culturally inappropriate, but when has that stopped Ms. Glyn.

So...Paul tries to meet up with Russian Queen, but at the last moment he is warned away, which we later discover is because she was about to be stabbed to death by her husband. This is horrifying, and what's worse is Glyn begins the next chapter "Now some of you who read will think her death was just, because she was not a moral woman." Who?? Who are these people?

Paul wanders the earth, a lost soul, fleeing the opera from the scent of tuberoses (a more Glynian notion, one cannot find). Finally he sees a gypsy woman he had met before, but now she is changed and rough-looking, and he's like "oh no! I don't want to be rough-looking like the gypsy woman!" so he completely changes everything, which is insulting, but sure, sir. He decides to carry Russian Queen in his heart evermore or some similar silliness and then decides to go visit his son, the king of Russia. End of book.



  1. I'm not sure it matters which throne the kid is destined for, given the 20th century. No matter what, he's destined to either be shot or maaaayyybe to escape and live in England as a refugee. I could NOT stop telling the characters that. (I do the same thing with Chava and her guy in Fiddler on the Roof. No, don't go to Poland!! Follow your stupid dad to America!)

    I for one am very glad you came up with this preposterous readalong. The book was terrible. But I got to experience tiger skins and undulations and chameleon orbs!


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