Archive for October 6th, 2008

Ok, further to this suggestion, let’s get The Anti Room Bookclub off the ground. Vote for one (just one for the moment to make it less messy) from any of the following reads that were initially suggested. Bung your vote in the comments and we’ll tot them up and picka date to discuss it online.

North and South by Elizabeth Gaskell

Lady Audley’s Secret by Mary Braddon

The Woman in White by Wilkie Collins

Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte

Wide Sargasso Sea by Jean Rhys

One of the Booker shortlisted books

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I’m in the middle of reading Candace Bushnell’s latest book and, to my surprise, it’s not half bad. I read Sex And The City and thought it was a bit disjointed and garbled, although I didn’t mind Trading Up at all. (Is this too much Bushnell to admit to having read?)

The new book is called One Fifth Avenue, which is the address of the exclusive apartment building where the book’s main characters live. In this building you will find all the usual, hyper-glitzy fictional characters: the young, beautiful, vacuous girl; the pinched 40-something stressed-out woman; the older, wiser woman; the hen-pecked husband; the terminally single 40-something man in denial (he keeps his hair long and sleeps with women 25 years younger than him); the rich, beautiful woman who happens to have her head screwed on right and so on.

I’m really enjoying the book, mainly for its escapist value (you can’t beat a good romance with larger-than-life characters), but one thing struck me. A lot of the women in the book are unhappy and this unhappiness stems mostly from a lack of sex or affection in their relationships. I suppose that’s one of the big things that can make women unhappy in real life too.

Now maybe it’s just the change of seasons that has me feeling a bit blue, but this aspect of Candace’s novel has got me down in the mouth. So I got to thinking…Are we destined to a) be unhappy because marriage/long-term relationships seem to descend into a sexless ritual of taking each other for granted or b) be alone because we don’t want to put up with watching ourselves turn into nags before our own eyes? Or is just that a) this is yet another fantasy element of Bushnell’s books or b) I’m feeling a bit pessimistic? Happy Monday!



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