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Raping Aphrodite (#OBSummer Splash Tour Review)

Part of 100 Authors, 500 Blog Posts

1st August to 31st August 2012

106 books from 100 authors

RAPING APHRODITE by The experience of 20-years in the journalism game is evident through the painfully woven images and historical scenes of the 1974 invasion of Cyprus. I enjoyed how the author bounced back and forth between a modern-day gallery owner and the invasion in Cyprus. Using  descriptions based on stories from her family (the author is the last full-blooded Cypriot in her family), she illustrated the horrors the different Cypriots faced beginning on July 20th, 1974. (The title refers to the island, for Cyprus is the birthplace of the Goddess Aphrodite.)

 

You do not remember this? Not a big surprise, America was embroiled in its own disaster with Watergate and had our own rebellion going on politically. The authors journalism background  did these parts of her novel proud. Using one Cypriot girl to represent an Island of many girls who were raped, tortured and basically were forced into genocide of a race by baring the children who were both Turkish and Greek the book represents a stark reminder of a forgotten past. In this the book deserves a five-star rating. However, it was historical fiction, and therefore it had other aspects to twine together. This caused many problems with my actual reading and enjoyment.

As much as I enjoy historical fiction it seems every author feels the need to have gratuitous sex scenes, this novel is steeped in it, and what makes it more interesting is it seems to be directly done from what a feminist theory calls “the male gaze”is no exception to the rule. What surprised me the most is this book is written by a 20-year female veteran in Journalism world. Yes it is a world driven by so many men , but as a journalism student myself I know how much we reminded to keep our voice as women and to remind ourselves the responsibility we have as women within such a male driven community. To have it riddled with male gaze shocked me. It did not completely ruin the story, but I ended up glazing my way through these unnecessary scenes in order for it to not completely ruin the parts of this book that really captured my attention.

The phrase “male gaze”  is based on one of the most popular feminist theories and has been on the books the publishing of Laura Mulvey’s essay on the subject in 1975.  It “refers to the frequent framing of objects of visual art so that the viewer is situated in a “masculine” position of appreciation. ” In more recent years it has been applied to many books and video games. I can understand writing in the rape of Christina, the girl who represents Cyprus’ fall, but I did not need to hear about the husband of the gallery owner needing to “fuck” his wife and hear about his erection etc. etc. etc..over and over.. mind you, well written sex scenes (and we all know my issues with such) but unnecessary and it took away from my reading experience. I was disappointed when comparing it to the lovely and solidly written historical scenes. Even the fictional aspects from 1974 were stronger and more solid than the modern scenes which made no sense, I could see where the author was attempting to take me but it really needs some content editing and work.

Basically I enjoyed parts of the book. I am a better person for having read this and learning world history that only has been briefly mentioned in passing throughout the years of my schooling. But one more thing ruined this read for me, the end. Apparently this is to be the first in a series. I truly hope the author uses a content editor or a lit crit partner to help her construct and weave her historical tale with the fictional one. Her next book will focus on the last daughter of Cyprus, the product of the Raping of Aphrodite, and I am not sure, other than from her own experience, if her ability to report is going to rescue the next book. The ending was not an ending at all, it was as if the book had chopped in half and we were given maybe the first half? Or something. I actually had to ask the author if I was given a copy with missing chapters.

Would I recommend the book? Yes I would, because the way the history was written was amazing. It was told in traditional Historical fiction (the historical parts) and for those of us that like to read our history with color, I would suggest this book over and over, I do not think there is another out there like it. But from a creative writing standpoint just be advised it will be a bit choppy and bothersome and do not expect a cliff hanger, expect a to be thrown off the cliff.

RAPING APHRODITE

by Loukia Borrell

What if everything you know – or think you know – about your life is wrong? Tash Colgate, a successful art gallery owner, is about to find out how that feels. Tash has the life she always wanted: a solid marriage and an art gallery that is making its mark in the art world. But when Tash agrees to an exhibition of items from Cyprus, she opens the door to secrets some people close to her wished she hadn’t. Travel back in time to the 1974 Turkish invasion of Cyprus, where intrigue, murder and lies catch up to Tash’s world decades later.

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Genre – Historical Fiction

Rating –  R

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(Ford99)
I was given a copy of this book for a fair and honest review. Not everyone will like every book they receive. I hope you take a chance to read and decide for yourself!

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5 Comments

  1. Awesome review! By the title I wouldn’t have even picked it up. It is essential for an author to network with crit partners. Editing is just a bottom-line must. 🙂 Glad you could enjoy the history as this sounds like something I’d be into as well.
    Show me some love!

  2. I think I was offered this one (although I can’t remember by who) but passed because of the mention of the graphic sex scenes. I’m glad that you were able to enjoy the historical aspects of the book.
    Show me some love!

  3. I’d like to read the book, although I agree that at times there can be too much sex in a book at the risk of not moving the action or the story forward.

    Great review!
    Show me some love!

  4. Great review bunneh wench

  5. Thanks for this review – not a book I would have normally gravitated to, but now, having read the review, I’m definitely going to pick it up.

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