Giant Men and Violent Women

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date: 13 Dec 2017

Member Reviews

WOW.  So.  I almost didn't grab this book.  I looked at the blurb for Giant Men and Violent Women by Clover Blaire and thought it sounded rather hum-drum and kind of boring.  Never, ever, has a blurb been more wrong.  HOLY COW.  This book was an emotional roller coaster.  The beginning Presley Ann comes off as a little boring to listen to, but actually redeems herself as a human with her little forays into "fantastize-about-Ashley-land".  
 She doesn't see to really know herself outside others' perceptions of her. You really start to wonder at the romance designation, and then switch to Ashley's point of view. 

What to say about Ashley?  He's the most anti- anti-hero I've ever read.  Instead of the dark and broody tattooed ex-con, we've got a good ol' boy from the mountains of New Hampshire...attorney, memeber of New Hampshire Royalty.  But the opening scene shows us that this is not all there is to him.  He is actually rather off-putting for a good chunk of the book, but I grew to really feel for him and by the middle of the book, I was actively rooting for him.  I'm still not sure why, but Blaire writes his character so well that you can't help but empathize with him and want him to find happiness.  Ashley is not the anti-hero that's all dark and dangerous and broody.  He's the good ol' boy who will kill you in a Broadway theater in front of hundreds...and get away with it.  He is unapologetically loyal to those he cares about and loves, to the point of ignoring his own wishes and desires.

Throughout all this muddle of a romance (and it is a muddle), you have what can only be considered political intrigue with a crazy amount of reality tv drama.  The idea of this book becoming an epic drama miniseries makes my mouth water.  There is SO MUCH that happens all over the place.  There are riots and political secession and assassinations and bounty hunts.  There are kidnappings and galas and socialite luncheons.  But it all flows so smoothly...you're already heading up to the next peak before you have even processed the last valley.

Some interesting things to note about this book are that it is alternate reality.  If things were just a wee bit different...this might be how our world was. Everything--and I do mean EVERYTHING--Blaire mentions is important.  It might not seem important, but trust me, it is.  I can't even begin to imagine the notes she has on this.  

There's a weird mix of modern feminism with 1950s socialite mentality.  As I am not New England socialite, I'm not sure how true to life that is.  However, Blaire makes it work.  She also doesn't have a plot twist.  She has a plot twist every five chapters.  I started out reading this book and feeling like it was decent, but not impressive.  I ended this book stalking her on amazon and Facebook and declaring my love for her as one of my new favorite authors.  I can't wait to see what she comes up with next, because this story was absolutely brilliant.
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Giant Men and Violent Women by Clover Blaire is a free NetGalley ebook that I read in late November.

A nearly overwhelming and really dense honeycomb of subplots and chapters shared between Presley Ann and (male) Ashley about a specialized demigod/titan group, The Twenty-Four, who seem to have covert, double-agent tendencies. The characters take it upon themselves to explain the over-Americanized new way of life and about their fellow townspeople of Darling, New Hampshire being insulated against the Other (i.e. being pro-slavery, almost southern levels of etiquette, New England ways of governance).
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This is a story of Darling, a town in New Hampshire. Darling is ruled by the House of New Hampshire  :- The Governor, his secretary and Judge. The story is narrated from alternating POV of Ashley and Presley Ann. Ashley is an attorney and the  great-grandson of the Judge. Presley Ann is the daughter of the Secretary. The ancestors of Ashley are called Twenty Four or Giant men and violent women, hence the title.

In Darling there are no jails, the Prisoners are put into the prison work program, where the work in houses as Slaves doing cooking, cleaning, driving  etc for free. This was brought about Judge, Chap Bragg, but not everyone is for this program . There are protests for and against the Prison Work Program (also called Slave Work Program).

The book starts with the assassination of the current governor who is against the Prison Work Program. Then we are introduced to Ashley and Presley Ann's family. Ashley is engaged to be married to Lousianna, the daughter of the New Governor, but he loves Presley Ann. Presley Ann is mostly a Boston girl, but currently she lives with her mother's people in Darling. She was dating Date. Currently Date is leading the anti Slavery Protests. The story revolves around the main people of the House of Hampshire and their families. 

Do Ashley and Presley Ann get their happily ever after? Will the protests stop the Prison Work Program? Read to find out 

It was a different kind of story. I had never thought of such a program, I still don't know whether I'm for or against it. This story tells us both the pros and cons of Prison Work Program. I understand both Ashley and Date's perspectives.
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