Venus Envy

by Rita Mae Brown

So, early on I found out that the Greek gods are actual, real live, speaking characters at the end, so I was pretty excited… especially since I loved the first 300 pages of this novel so much. The characters are funny and witty and you really root for them. The treatment of gays and lesbians is a little outdated — this is from the early 90s — but I forgave that. The problem, though, is that once the Greek gods arrive on the scene, the book flounders. There’s all sorts of loose ends, the Greek gods stuff is basically a 60-page diatribe, and there’s erotica… lots of it. It’s hot, but it’s so out of place in this book. SO OUT OF PLACE.

Why I Finished:

I really loved the writing. Like… really. Rita Mae Brown reminds me of the way I feel about Alexander McCall Smith: it’s comfort reading. They just make you feel good. It’s well-written without being pretentious or “literary,” and the characters are great, and… yeah. It’s just great. She just took a wrong turn at the Greek gods thing. I’ll forgive her.