After hearing much of this vintage novel I finally found myself a copy and discovered the unique tone of Babitz. Slightly detached, whimsical and completely compelling, I found myself head over heels with this story. Our protagonist Jacaranda is young and carefree living in Los Angeles surfing and painting. We follow as she drifts from jobs, relationships and friendships until she finds herself a writer without a book and avoiding her publisher in New York. The reader follows Jacaranda’s struggles and her triumphs.
First of all I loved how different Sex and Rage was different to other novels i have read. The structure was unique and I enjoyed the way the chapters were set out loose and easy, she pages long and others merely paragraphs. I loved how the words read like we were in Jacaranda’s head jumping from feeling to thought, rational and not. Jacaranda was a fascinating character. Very flawed and yet still relatable, incredibly charming despite her shortcomings and the reader falls for her is always pulling for her, hoping for her successes. This was a window into the fast and carefree lifestyle in California in the 1970’s and I enjoyed every moment of it.
I savoured the contemplative sentence structure and the way in which Babits played with words. I was entrance and didn’t want it to end. I would highly recommend picking Sex and Rage up, for something a bit different and fun and yet soul searching and contemplative. Babitz is a fantastic writer and I find myself already craving more of her words. Lucky for me I have LA Woman ready and raring to go. A bit of a must-read for any fan of lady lit.