I first read this book twenty-five years ago when I was an impressionable young teen who loved it for the fairytale: a young woman, bruised by two love affairs with men who just wanted her for her body, buys a Vespa and sets off on a journey across the USA. Not long into her adventure, however, a dragon rears its ugly head and she finds herself unwittingly embroiled in an insurance scam, enslaved and abused by two evil gangsters. All is not lost, however, because, just as things are about to take an even bigger turn for the worse, out of the storm comes James Bond, a dark, dangerous hero who not only rescues her but who shows her what it really means to make love.
This time around, I didn’t love the fairytale; I hated it. I simply had trouble believing the way Viv thought, even for a woman of the 1960’s. It might come as a bit of a shock, but not ‘all-women love semi-rape’. What is semi-rape anyway? And Viv just doesn’t cut it as a heroine. The most independent thing she does is set off on her journey, which is a pretty big thing I guess, but you’d figure that a young women with enough get-up-and-go to Vespa herself across 1960’s USA would have a bit more gumption when faced with the things she’s faced with. As a 21st Century 40-year-old woman, I want a lot more action and a lot less swooning from my leading ladies.
1/5 – I did not like it.