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... a friend is trying to remember a book from her childhood (borrowed, read only once). All she can really recall is that it had a "sort of Wolves of Willoughby Chase/Little Princess setting" and that one scene involved the child protagonist surrounded, at night, by human figures representing the seasons, and that this scene was important in some way.

Ring any bells? I feel called to track down this mystery now ...
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Hmmm. It is a little disappointing that, when I have a chance to read a couple of non-school books for the first time in ages, I end up with one very poor murder mystery, and one beautifully written litfic novel which is absolutely packed with racefail, genderfail, agefail, and stereotyping of internet users ...

But at any rate, it gives me a chance to warn y'all away from Richard Powers' Generosity, in which a mysteriously fascinating young Algerian woman attracts the fetishistic attention of all who encounter her, finally serving the all-important purpose of getting two middle-aged white academics into bed with each other on account of they both really want to sleep with her, and eventually flees back to Algeria to be Truly Happy With Her People, leaving all the white folks Sadder But Wiser.

Along the way, it may astonish you to learn that Kids These Days, they don't use proper grammar and spelling! and are only interested in cheap entertainment! and understand neither art nor morality (although now and then you see a kind of alt-reality peeking through the narrative, in which the young woman's age peers are actually the only people who treat her like a human being).

And yeah, there are interesting musings on genetics and temperament, but the whole construction of personality thing was much better handled in his last novel, without all the fetishing.

Sigh.

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