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Victorian Anonymous

A Review by Loch Henson

Comments on the Feminine Regime

Before investing in your snuggle-up-for-winter reading materials, ask yourself which part of your tastes you wish to indulge. If your preferences run to long prose of English persuasion with a strictly feminine perspective, there is a great possibility for some entertaining distraction in this book for you. While certain images in the novel by Miss Regina Snow are likely to stir some libidinous interest, this book is by no stretch of the imagination a one-handed read . . . which may or may not count as criticism.
This overall purpose of the work is intended to illustrate the gentle supremacy of a strict matriarchal social order. In fact, there are no male characters to be found in the story. Set within what is presented as a time slightly in our future, the desparate need for a simple, direct way of living is what drives the primary character, Lavinia, into responding to an ad which suggests that this may be available to her in an unusual form. The ugliness of the post-modern day-to-day life she leads in England is suffocating her. When she takes up an invitation to visit the domain of the woman who placed the ad, she glimpses what is referred to as "The Empire," a social group whose thinly veiled contempt for the way the rest of the world is de-evolving drives it to create its own standard of living, and she craves inclusion. The novel is the story of her often tumultuous assimilation.
To her credit, it is abundantly clear that the authoress has a genuine grasp of the types of changes a transformation of the magnitude Lavinia goes through would bring about. Unlike so many books on the market in this subject area, she does develop reasonable characters with whom to sympathize and she delivers to you an intellectual as well as a physical plot. I accepted her writing as coming from a place of no small experience with the behaviors described, which is a tremendous relief from a lot of shlop that finds it way to print. She approaches her topics with a typical British delicacy, and the creation and resolution of conflicts is explored in an interesting, if slightly over-handled, manner. If you can forgive the occasional wildly self-congratulatory nature of lecture material presented as dialogue between characters, you will find a gently wrought piece of fiction with a heart of gold and a lovely agenda. The few illustrations are not particularly fascinating (although one is quite useful) and almost detract from the carefully sculptured and refined environment described by the story.
Should you wish to have an eloquent excuse for desiring to be absorbed into a pseudo-Victorian lifestyle, casting off your daily duties in this world for the simple pleasure of genuine submission to a greater, more caring (but still demanding) system, Miss Snow has penned the ideal book for you. Find it!

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