Several times now I’ve tried to react to this book in a public way, and yesterday’s meandering was the only intelligible result. To cut it much, much, shorter then: Angela is the best thing about this book.
Her problem, at first, seems just that she’s Sherlock-level smart and Sherlock-level socially inept, working for a man whose belief in the great man theory of history is harming her research. But she’s better than that. Maybe there are some lame, scifi-meets-the-dubiously-mysterious-magic-of-estrogen reasons why that is, but still.
I cringed at the characterization of Rosie, whose plucky 15-year-old self is cut from the too-familiar mold of Old Men Writing About Girls On the Cusp of Adulthood. It’s gross. It always is. But Angela is interesting. Angela picks up and discards her sexuality like a light jacket — sometimes necessary but really more of a personal choice as to whether you need it or not. She’s vicious. She’s tone-deaf, in some ways. In a book that was very much beginning to feel like an off-brand Cloud Atlas, Angela is refreshing.