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Okay, Nannie Winston, you had me and then you lost me. You'll remember in the first chapter her description of the monotonous, unadorned Jersey countryside, which built up her credibility slightly since I actually drove through Jersey once (yes, on the way to Atlantic City, wanna fight about it?) and that's pretty much the way I saw it. But as part of the description of Westmore's office from our second chapter, which I didn't include the last post because life is too damn short, there's an incidental detail that sets off my B.S. alarms:

Near the west windows a shelf had been constructed upon which were arranged several earthenware pots planted with hyacinths and narcissi; the sweet, springlike scent of the flowers filled the room to an almost overpowering degree. Coming suddenly from the cool, fresh air of the outside world into the heat and perfume of this luxurious apartment, and already overwrought by an intensity of excitement, Helen felt herself all at once grow faint, and had not Mr. Westmore come quickly to her side, she would undoubtedly have fallen to the floor. (p. 37)
Remember, this part of the story is set in New York City. She's talking about cool, fresh air. In New York City. No sir, I'm just not seeing it. Especially during the thick of the Second Industrial Revolution. "Fresh" can't be that relative a term.

A little off the path, but that's the type of thing that comes to me in the small hours and I felt like sharing.


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