Many years ago a good friend refused to tell me something I really wanted to know. This was back in my late teens. I’d sold her a prized (but bulky) possession when I left the country, and when I came back a few years later I asked her what had happened to it. And she wouldn’t tell me. I couldn’t think of any good reason for her refusal, and she wouldn’t explain. I remember badgering her all through a long subway ride, frustrated at her baffling intransigence. Finally I gave up, not wanting to create a rift over something so minor. And anything further would have felt like a little kid whining. But it always made me wonder; it was a question that never got an answer.
Something similar happened to me with Anders’ backstory. (For those who haven’t read it, this is from As She’s Told.) In all the reviews and commentary that have come to my attention over the three plus years since the book’s been published, Anders’ backstory is virtually never mentioned. It’s as if it doesn’t exist. Someone can love the book or hate it, read it solely for the hot parts or get into the book as a whole, see Anders as a great lover and master or deride him as a psychopath – it makes no difference. Apparently the backstory doesn’t register. Which is odd, because it’s fairly important to the plot and characters; at least I think so.
Now, it’s no big surprise that the non-erotic parts of an erotic book tend to fly below the radar. But I’ve seen discussions about other books’ characters and their backstories. Why not this one?
I’ve occasionally put the question out as to why the backstory gets no mention (possibly even here; I don’t remember!). No one answers. It’s a puzzler. Did that section just not work? Was it not believable? Is the backstory overwhelmed by Anders’ incredible domliness? ;-) Or by the extremes to which he takes Maia? No one seems to want to say. Usually they change the subject. So, not wanting to whine about it, I stop asking.
My guess is that the reasons by their very nature preclude expression, or preclude expression in front of me. Or maybe I’m just waaaaay overthinking this. Still, I’m going to bet that this post gets no comments.
Want to prove me wrong?
Oh, and by the way, my friend recently brought me a few books she’d been clearing out of her mother’s place. She also brought me my prized object, which had been at her mother’s house all along. When I reminded her of that subway ride long ago and her entrenched refusal, she was just as baffled as I had been. No memory of it at all.
One question answered, the other unsolveable.