Page 45 Review by Stephen
"I hate all men. Including you."
Truth be told, water nymph Aglaia will find good cause to hate one more man, but so far she's only encountered two. Admittedly, they're both absolutely rubbish: a merman who gets her up the duff in a single swimming session then fails to return, leaving her to wait forlornly on the same rock she saw him off on, every day for months; and a dad that banishes her from their kingdom on account of the other man's crime.
All the other anthropomorphic men she encounters will prove positively lovely - supportive and self-sacrificial in one instance - making that early declaration of misandry a bit impetuous. We're only on page five!
Mind you, if you have only met two men and they both turn out to be heartless monsters, that is going to colour your perception a wee bit, isn't it?
It's very interesting, on occasion, to compare what a publisher puts out as publicity to what you make of a work yourself.
"Betrayed by her fleeting first love and her father's cold rejection, Aglaia the oceanide conceives at a very young age a fierce hatred of men. She is by turns a reluctant wife, a passionate lover, an absent mother, a heroic fighter, and a revolutionary queen - and through it all, her destiny is inexorably linked to the complexity of her character in this deeply human, contemporary, and iconoclastic comedy."
She's not a passionate lover to the husband who brought her offspring up as his own; she's a passionate, covert, nocturnal and extramarital lover to a bloke she finds, then keeps imprisoned, in a hole in the ground. Not a lot of options there.
"If you ever break up with me, I'll kill you."
Again, funny! This is a very funny book.
Aglaia's definitely an absent mother: immediately after laying her eggs she goes straight to bed, incubation be damned. She becomes a bit of a monster, to be honest, then raises another in the vein of brattish child-king Joffrey from 'Game of Thrones'. So cycles history.
Anyway, back to the publisher.
"Cartoonist Anne Simon showcases a deft touch in this astute dissection of human relationships, which weaves 19th century France, biting feminism, and the pop imagination of the Beatles into one deliciously philosophical farce, full of subversive twists and comical turns."
I think I detect an Edward Gorey influence, myself.