An oh-so-fragrant tale about a middle-aged divorced woman's sexual awakening—from the author of the sitcom-ish series about the flowering of the Moreau family gifts in France (which had its finale with Cecile, 1987). Severine, 44, had once been married to handsome Didier. For years, during which she produced a daughter, she was the dutiful little housewife—dutiful and unacquainted with even the littlest bit of excitement in bed. Eventually, Didier left her for more interesting partners, and now Severine reviews her past selves for a clue to survival. She's still clinging to her house, but she's ventured into bookstore work for the apparently man-hating Maryse (Maryse is really a poor soul with a rotten childhood). Then Severine takes voice lessons again and is about to do a song for a sex-soaked movie. But the necessary, real throb won't come into her music—or life—until she's met Vincent, a TV creative, whose wife is hateful and whose son has tried suicide. Severine grows sexually—and oh! the beautiful music they make together as Vincent "shuddered on top of me like a wounded stag." But just when the lovers are about to fly away, together with Vincent's redeemed son, there's. . .near tragedy. Now can Severine bring Vincent to life? Sex refracted through a jug of Mille Fleurs cologne with euphuisms for the Act and its actlets that cloy rather than titillate. Nobody's really believable, either, including the wounded stag.
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