Thursday, February 10, 2011

Not your stereotypical strumpet

     The new year hasn't started off so well here at Cracking Spines.  I feel bad for neglecting you all.  In my defense, things have been chaotic.  I've been meaning to make it up to you this week, but was taken down by a nasty bought of bronchitis. 

     Enough with the excuses now.  I'm on the road to recovery but not quite well enough to go to work, so I've got a bit of free time for blogging.  Let's get down to the dirt inside Secret Diary of a Call Girl.

(If you haven't reached adult status yet, I ask that you seriously considering turning back now.  This is your final warning.)

    Secret Diary of a Call Girl is the (true) story of a high class hooker by the moniker of Belle du Jour.  Highly educated with a degree in psychology, Belle moves to London to find what everyone else wants-- a high paying job she'll love.  Unlike everyone else, she has no qualms about getting major money for major mattress action.  Having always been sexually adventurous, she'll do nearly anything the client requests-- for a hefty fee, of course.

     Belle is the opposite of society's stereotypical image of a prostitute; she's educated, doesn't have a drug or alcohol addiction (though she does confess a weakness to lacy underthings), is close with her family, and she has a steady boyfriend--who knows about her occupation.

     The more I read, the more I bounce between hating and loving Belle.  Things I hate about her:  she has questionable morals.  The fact that she's a sex worker aside, she confesses to lying and cheating in relationships.  I can forgive a little, but the fact that she shows no remorse is what gets me.  Instead of facing a problematic relationship, she escapes into an affair in which she finds the physical abuse enjoyable.  Above all else, this sickens me.  She won't allow clients to abuse and degrade her, but she describes this past relationship fondly, saying that when he beat and shamed her at least she knew he cared.  I can't wrap my head around the idea that anyone can feel loved with a black eye and someone else's urine on them.  I like to think I'm fairly open-minded, but this is all too disgusting for me.

      Another thing I don't like:  she dates all her entries (this book is in journal format) in French.  It's my misfortune that I only took French in 8th grade, and spent the entire class admiring the fit arms of the boy at the next desk.  If she were actually French, I might not find this so annoying.  The fact that she's a born and bred Englishwoman makes me think she's trying too hard to show off her intelligence. 

     But Belle isn't all bad.  She displays real emotion-- she feels real joy, real heartbreak.  Like any other person her age, she's confused about what she wants and where her life is going.  Should she stay in the sex business?  Will she find love?  She doesn't have all the answers.  She does have one thing going for her, though:  she's witty.  She can take a conversation and make it better (well... almost as good) as a Monty Python skit.  I may be exaggerating-- Monty Python is the best thing the British have ever done-- but believe me when I say she's got a sense of humor. 

     I haven't quite finished the book yet, but I plan to this weekend.  Belle's love life is a little messy at this point, but despite my reservations about her, I'm hoping she gets a happy ending. 


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