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Episode 56 - Banner O'Brien by Linda Lael Miller

Banner O'Brien is the worst possible lady doctor in 19th century Washington State, which I guess also makes her the best lady doctor around (but no, she is not good at this doctoring thing.)  Adam Corbin is the biggest assholes in 19th century Washington State and he does have plenty of competition.  They yell.  They slap.  They do it, a lot.  They keep truly amazing secrets from each other.  It's a ride! This book has some pretty serious content warnings - a pretty awful abusive relationship in the past, lots of slapping, disciplinary spanking, racist language and portrayals of racist attitudes towards indigenous and Asian people (the book doesn't condone it but does use some ill-considered words.)  Family gaslighting!  Secret leprosy!  (Yes I did say secret leprosy, keep up.)  It's got a lot going on, but it's one of those "turned up to 11" books where none of this seems particularly realistic.

Episode 22: Shadow of the Lynx



Shadow of the Lynx by Victoria Holt

I read this when I was a kid and it gave me VERY WEIRD KID IDEAS.  Now I'm returning to it and it is... even more fucked up than I expected?  Nora is one of those freshly orphaned smart Vicky Holt girls.  Charles Herrick, aka the Lynx, is a... brilliant sex monster?  It's hard to explain.  There's another dude too.  And a whole other family.  Is this even a romance novel?  Is this maybe a thriller?  I DON'T KNOW ANYMORE.

And, look, we can explain!  Our Four for Forty ended up being interminable and we recorded this months ago and at the end we even promo Four for Forty.... we're still, er, learning?

This is going to be okay for most people but there's definitely an extremely controlling man, there's an attempted rape that ends up with the woman safe but the man's brains splashed all over the outback, there's a good bit of murdering but mostly, you know, the genteel kind. No sex at all, overtly.

Can we appreciate this cover for a minute, though?  I love a good "women running away from houses" Gothic cover, but this one is really a fine example.

Transcript available here.

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