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Familiar Diversions

I'm a librarian who loves anime, manga, and reading a wide variety of genres.

Currently reading

The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl: Squirrel Meets World
Abigail Revasch, Shannon Hale, Dean Hale, Tara Sands, Listening Library
Progress: 67/473 minutes
The Mystic Marriage
Heather Rose Jones
Progress: 302/426 pages
Ichi-F: A Worker's Graphic Memoir of the Fukushima Nuclear Power Plant
Kazuto Tatsuta
Progress: 58/553 pages
The Naked Sun
Isaac Asimov
Progress: 20/187 pages
50 Girls 50 and Other Stories
Al Williamson, Frank Frazetta, Gary Groth
Jennifer Foehner Wells
Progress: 58/367 pages
The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet: A Novel
Becky Chambers
Progress: 148/441 pages
The Count of Monte Cristo
Alexandre Dumas, Bill Homewood, Naxos AudioBooks
Progress: 667/3165 minutes
A Matter of Oaths
Helen S. Wright
Progress: 101/277 pages
Medical School for Everyone: Grand Rounds Cases
Professor Roy Benaroch, The Great Courses, The Great Courses
Progress: 34/725 minutes

The Measure of a Lady

The Measure of a Lady - Deeanne Gist Most of the time, I liked Rachel, but her black-and-white view of the world drove me batty. You either were a prostitute for life, or you were lily white, nothing in between.I could understand why Lissa saw her as a hypocrite. At every new development, Rachel seemed to be redefining the way things worked in order to suit her. If she lived purely by the standards she set for herself, there would not have been a single job she could have taken when they first arrived in San Francisco. She justified cleaning and cooking in Johnnie's saloon by defining the saloon only as a hotel during her working hours, and by saying that she refused to be around Carmelita, a former prostitute who still dressed provocatively in order to distract gamblers into losing more money. Technically, the only thing she did during those early days that truly fit her high standards was the work she did caring for Johnnie's trees. Had she really wanted to live a perfectly moral life, she would have married the naturalist.However, that doesn't mean Lissa's behavior didn't drive me crazy, too. What Lissa didn't seem to realize was that the only thing that saved her and Rachel from being treated like common prostitutes was their status as "sunbonnet women." Being a sunbonnet woman meant that some things would be more difficult - she and Rachel would have had to work much harder to earn a living. However, by choosing not to act like a sunbonnet woman, she was opening herself up to a life where, if Sumner chose to, he could have basically acted as her pimp, sharing her with anyone willing to pay. The thing that made him despicable was the joking he did shortly after he and Lissa first slept together, telling Johnnie that he might share her with him if he wished. Gist later tries to make it seem that Sumner may actually be in love with Lissa, but I doubt it. Lissa was an idiot, a fifteen-year-old idiot who had a temper tantrum, smacking Rachel when she had the gall to remind her that Sumner hadn't kept the marriage vows he made to his wife, so how could he be expected to keep any promises to Lissa?In the end, what it came down to was Rachel remembering that Jesus consorted with and forgave lots of prostitutes, and her realization that it's not her job to set the moral standards for everyone - all of that's between individuals and God. All that mortals like her can do is try to give people who want to turn their lives around a place they can go to and people who will help and support them. I can accept that.The historical aspects of this book were very interesting - this is not a period of time I've read a lot about. I knew a bit about the gold rush, but I didn't know about the specifics or what life was like - Gist made that seem very real.As far as the humor goes, that starts at the very beginning, with the first line: "This street is impassable, not even jackassable," which was apparently a real street sign. I'm sure Gist's research was fascinating. There was less and less humor as the book went on and people's lives started to fall apart, but I did like those early humorous bits.Overall, I liked this book enough that I'd read something else by Gist, and I certainly plan on reading [b:Maid to Match|6973771|Maid to Match|Deeanne Gist|http://d.gr-assets.com/books/1258611802s/6973771.jpg|7213851].(Original review, with read-alikes, posted on A Library Girl's Familiar Diversions.)