Borrower of the Night by Elizabeth Peters Audio

The Vicky Bliss series by Elizabeth Peters has spanned 20 + years. In that time, a lot has changed. When the first book was written, feminism was new. Vicky was an extremely modern character. Now, her opinions and self-sufficiency are something women tend to take for granted.

There are the political and technological shifts, too, which make rereading (or in this case listening) to the stories seem like peering into a time capsule. Vicky's adventures have taken her from a divided Germany to a world connected by the internet, cell phones and instant communication. From telegraph to email.

It can be a bit disconcerting to hear something that is so dated--it throws me out the narrative every once in awhile--but it is also fun to revisit a series with such terrific, memorable characters. And when listening to Barbara Rosenblat narrate Herr Professor Schmidt, the story just comes alive. No one does accents like Rosenblat.

I think this series is an excellent microcosm of how popular literature can truly reflect the history, culture, values, and technology of a time without us being fully aware of it. It is only when a series spans this length of time (and the characters do not age) that we notice how much our society truly has changed in the last 20 years. It's something we are aware of intellectually, but I don't think we truly understand most of the time.

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