I recently received and read a review copy of a novel entitled Wildflower Crown by Charlotte Cyprus. Of course, free books do not sway my opinion in any way – although you may disagree with my opinion, regardless, since we are both probably different people unless I have been cloned without realizing it.
I really enjoyed this book, but a lot of people will not.
First of all, the story is pretty interesting. A beautiful girl, who had to flee from the village in which she was raised, is lonely and seizes an opportunity to be around people again that happens to involve her in treasonous activity and ultimately means she gets to experience what it is like to be a princess. Oh, and also, she’s probably a fairy.
But that’s not really important.
In essence, Wildflower Crown is about a really annoying chick who calls herself Wild, thought she wanted to be a princess when what she really wants to do is play outside all day with her dog, who needs to get laid, and looks like she’s 11 when she’s really probably in her ’20s.
You read me right. This woman isn’t exactly sure how old she is, but it is definitely implied that she is at least of legal age, in the modern sense of the word (aka, 18), if not older, and looks like a pre-teen. The princess she is imitating is twelve, I think? And not only is she reprimanded for undressing in front of grown men (which, okay, is fair), but she is the object of an intense desire by the adult man who is guarding her.
And “Wild” doesn’t just look like she’s eleven; she still has the mindset of an eleven-year-old, as well. The sentences in this novel tend to be simple, and during princess-training, Wild asks some ridiculously simple questions, to reinforce to the reader that this woman is still a girl in most ways. Except for the fact that she gets a monthly visitor, she thinks about the world in a very simple way, making her relationship with an older, worldly man, that much more inappropriate. A simple reading of this novel might result in the reader concluding it is a poorly written romance. Instead, it can, and I would argue, should, be viewed as a cleverly written satire of the sexualization of young women.
This woman, who looks just like an eleven year old, who thinks like an eleven year old, does not appear to have any lustful desires until she is kissed by a man who looks and acts far older, and who has experience, both in terms of interacting with other adults, and specifically has experience sexually. Of course, someone who thinks about the world in the terms of an eleven-year-old can be easily manipulated — that’s why there are laws in place to protect our children.
In fact, the novel pulls a bit of a Jane Eyre, essentially dumbing the male love interest down so that he and Wild can be on a level playing field. You know how Mr. Rochester has to be blinded in order to be able to comprehend that Jane is and should be treated as his equal? In a similar way, Daivat cannot avoid his level of superiority and will not avoid using his ability to manipulate his lady love, without being somewhat mentally incapacitated, himself.
Interested? Snag a copy of the book, via e-copy or paperback.
Have you read this novel? What were your thoughts?