ClitLit – Women, Romance Fiction and Patriarchal Discourse

January 4, 2010

How Not To Introduce A Heroine – Quick Shots

I’ve just returned to the world of category romance after being blown away by Jenny Crusie. I’m two pages in, but I had to share this.

I’m reading Pride and Pregnancy, a Harlequin from 2007, picked purely by virtue of its hilarious title. It opens thusly:

“By the time she was thirty, Karleen Almquist had signed three sets of divorce papers, at which point she decided to make things easier on herself and just get a hamster.”

– Templeton, K., 2007, Pride and Pregnancy [Harlequin Mills & Boon] p.7

I thought this was a pretty good opening line. I chuckled a little, I confess. Templeton goes on to muse that ‘they [hamsters] weren’t of much use in the sack, but then the same could be said of most husbands’. I chuckled a little more.

But then we see Karleen, our heroine, burying one of her beloved hamsters in the backyard. We get a woman with a shovel scene, hamster graveyard, ra ra ra, then… this:

“Fond of Melvin [being her late hamster] as she’d been, it had taken the better part of an hour to glue on these nails and damned if she was going to ruin them for a dead hamster.” [Templeton, p.8]

Gee, Karen Templeton. Way to make your heroine totally unlikeable. Pet > nails.

I’ll keep you posted on how manicured Karleen progresses…

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1 Comment »

  1. lol I’d keep reading. If she has a hamster graveyard the tragedy of the moment has long worn off.

    Comment by Annemarie — January 4, 2010 @ 7:33 pm | Reply


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