Author: Anne Rice (writing as Anne Rampling)
Publication Year: 1986
Genre: Fiction (sometimes labelled Erotica)
Source: Purchased from Chapters
I’ve always wanted to read the rest of Anne Rice “erotica” – the non-Sleeping Beauty ones. A couple weeks ago, I finally bought them, and then this is the first one that I got around to reading.
Belinda is basically about a 40-something children’s author who falls in love with a 16-year old mystery girl who refuses to tell him about her past; she moves in with him almost immediately, and he starts painting a series of pieces that focus largely on her naked in children’s situations. It moves on from there, and about halfway through the book, he finds out who she really is, and everything goes haywire.
I have to say, the whole 16-year-old falling in love with a 40-something-year-old story line really threw me at first. The story at that point is told from Jeremy’s point of view, so the reader could see his reasoning behind things, but … still. Since I stuck it out and kept going until the end, I understood the reality of the situation, and also saw the various relationships presented in the book with large age gaps (not only between Belinda and Jeremy), but some readers might be thrown too far by it early on and give up before getting to the real meat of the story.
For the most part, I found it a lovely and entertaining book, with a very similar writing style to Anne Rice’s other novels. There was a bit too much foreshadowing near the beginning, though, and it was really easy for me to predict where the plot was going up until almost three quarters of the way through the book. It was still fun, just predictable. Definitely something to read when you want something fun and a bit provocative, but not overly moralizing or complicated with lots of unexpected twists and turns.