This is a behind the scenes look at a reality show that is similar to "Marry a millionaire" or some such. With a lesbian romance as an element of the story I could not miss comparing the book to, [b:Reality Lesbian|18073805|Reality Lesbian|Q. Kelly|https://d.gr-assets.com/books/1371215589s/18073805.jpg|25376127] by [a:Q. Kelly|1519558|Q. Kelly|https://d.gr-assets.com/authors/1314405498p2/1519558.jpg] which I enjoyed.
I am also reminded of Albert Brooks, "Real Life", a 1979 film about attempting to record the reality of a suburban American family consenting to have almost all of their lives and interactions filmed by people wearing camera helmets right next to their subjects. Now I am babbling about the nature of reality tv, sheesh.
Anyway. In this book, I quite enjoyed the main character, Candace, as she seems psychically aware of what will happen in the show and even what is going in in the minds of the contestants. She speaks her mind, heedlessly insulting, praising or chatting without any care of the consequences. She's alive, funny and comfortable in her own skin.
But then, no. Candace is not
the main character in this story, a Ojibwe woman named Nokomis is the main character. She is there only because her mother loves the TV program and pushed her into participating. She does so half-heartedly, as an outsider, which should have her appear more relatable to the reader because who would wish to invest themselves in a character giddy to be a success in such a superficial contest? At some point though one would think "Oh, c'mon then, let's get going with it." I mean, she's there, right?
Initially I thought this was going to be a toaster-oven story but Nokomis states she is bi-sexual at the 36% mark, complete with historical reference to Native American 'Two-Spirit' acceptance of gay individuals. If there hadn't been awkward moments of Aloe Vera application with Lee, I should have guessed Nokomis falling for Candace, the sex toy small business owner and roommate who takes Nokomis under her wing.
The relationship between Nokomis and Lee is not developed thoroughly in my mind. There is some sort of attraction between them and it seems like Lee is the one pursuing it. Every romantic step they take is so tentative, yet Nokomis cannot continue in good conscience with Jacob (the prize) at 72% because of her feelings for Lee. She is so hesitant to pursue anything with Lee when given the chances she has that I didn't get it and I lost interest in the story.
Also, the manner of Nokomis' speech is really stilted compared to the other characters and this becomes a problem. Candace and Jacob at least seem like human beings with unique personalities that they exacerbate the sense of how tentative, boring or uninvolved Nokomis is in the story.
A star for a native american character from Michigan.