The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo

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The previous blog mentioned the Women’s Center’s upcoming book discussion this fall on Stieg Larsson’s Millennium Trilogy.  I just finished reading the first book in the trilogy, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, and I can’t wait to read the other two books.  Larsson’s development of the character Lisbeth Salander is brilliant.  She’s mysterious, yet direct; serious, yet passionate; troubled, yet ingenious.  Larsson unveils her character gradually, only mentioning her in random chapters and paragraphs through the first parts of the book.  You are left curious and almost doubtful of whom she is, but then at one heroic moment in the book, he unveils her true nature as a survivor.  No longer wondering who Lisbeth is, you are only left wondering why – why is she someone who lives most days on her survival instincts?

Lisbeth is described as a frail, anorexic-looking, young woman with harsh features and a wardrobe that harkens back to the 1970’s Brittish punk rock scene – leather jacket, tight jeans, combat boots, and t-shirts that make sharp, sarcastic statements.  Lisbeth makes up in inner strength and intellect what she lacks in physical presence.  She is often quiet but always very present.   A feminist heroine she is; woven into a plot that involves violence against women, sexual assault, family drama, and murder.   Lisbeth is a feminist, a heroine, and a survivor.  Of what?  Hopefully, that will be revealed in Larson’s subsequent books in the Trilogy.  If not, oh well.  Lisbeth’s character is not one that commands the readers’ sympathy for whatever happened to her in the past, but their support and applause for who she is now.

I plan to start reading the next book in the Trilogy, The Girl Who Played with Fire, tonight.  If you haven’t started reading the series, there’s still plenty of time left this summer.  Then join us on Oct. 26 in the Women’s Center to discuss Lisbeth Salander.  I can’t wait to talk to you about her.