A mature, realistic look at a less-than-traditional relationship.

And Then There Were Three: Sixty-Seven Letters to Sasha

Fox’s debut epistolary novel details a relationship between a woman and two men.

The unnamed narrator, a woman who has “wanted to be a boy ever since I could remember,” seems to be in a fairly normal relationship with George. That is, at least, until a chance look at a newspaper article reveals a “bi-curious” past. George, it turns out, had a relationship in college with a man named Sasha, who grew up behind the Iron Curtain. After some detective work and Skype sessions, the three eventually form a semivolatile group. Vacationing in Odessa, that “once glamorous and proud city,” the narrator finds herself excited by the idea of George and Sasha rekindling their physical relationship. It’s not long before this rekindling leads to a variety of sexual pairings. As the book consists of a collection of letters from the narrator to Sasha, it is this leg of the trio that is most fully investigated. “Is that what you felt, dear Sasha,” the narrator wonders, “when you had sex with me with your eyes shut and your thoughts drifting away imagining a man’s body or invoking memories of the past male lovers?” After Odessa, the three eventually cohabitate on a more regular basis, even though the closest “of friends and relatives seemed to be ignorant of the nature of our relationship.” Covering sexy bits (“I would by then be on my knees, unbuttoning your jeans and working the magic with my tongue while stroking your back with my fingers”) and not-so-sexy bits (“no matter how comfy the home is, a cup of coffee with the brioche does lift one’s spirits every time”), the story makes for a balanced account. Inevitably, the sexual mingling was accompanied by emotional mingling, and both are painted in adequately bold and believable colors. At times, though, characters can appear flat, particularly George, who, outside of his familiarity with “Adamo, Aznavour, Gainsbourg, Piaf, Balzac, Stendal [sic], Hugo, Flaubert, and everybody and everything French,” seems to not bring much to the table personalitywise. The intrigued reader will wonder just how long this arrangement can last.

A mature, realistic look at a less-than-traditional relationship.

Pub Date: N/A

ISBN: 978-1-45-754106-3

Page Count: 110

Publisher: Dog Ear

Review Posted Online: Oct. 23, 2015

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NUTCRACKER

This is not the Nutcracker sweet, as passed on by Tchaikovsky and Marius Petipa. No, this is the original Hoffmann tale of 1816, in which the froth of Christmas revelry occasionally parts to let the dark underside of childhood fantasies and fears peek through. The boundaries between dream and reality fade, just as Godfather Drosselmeier, the Nutcracker's creator, is seen as alternately sinister and jolly. And Italian artist Roberto Innocenti gives an errily realistic air to Marie's dreams, in richly detailed illustrations touched by a mysterious light. A beautiful version of this classic tale, which will captivate adults and children alike. (Nutcracker; $35.00; Oct. 28, 1996; 136 pp.; 0-15-100227-4)

Pub Date: Oct. 28, 1996

ISBN: 0-15-100227-4

Page Count: 136

Publisher: Harcourt

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 1996

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IN MY PLACE

From the national correspondent for PBS's MacNeil-Lehrer Newshour: a moving memoir of her youth in the Deep South and her role in desegregating the Univ. of Georgia. The eldest daughter of an army chaplain, Hunter-Gault was born in what she calls the ``first of many places that I would call `my place' ''—the small village of Due West, tucked away in a remote little corner of South Carolina. While her father served in Korea, Hunter-Gault and her mother moved first to Covington, Georgia, and then to Atlanta. In ``L.A.'' (lovely Atlanta), surrounded by her loving family and a close-knit black community, the author enjoyed a happy childhood participating in activities at church and at school, where her intellectual and leadership abilities soon were noticed by both faculty and peers. In high school, Hunter-Gault found herself studying the ``comic-strip character Brenda Starr as I might have studied a journalism textbook, had there been one.'' Determined to be a journalist, she applied to several colleges—all outside of Georgia, for ``to discourage the possibility that a black student would even think of applying to one of those white schools, the state provided money for black students'' to study out of state. Accepted at Michigan's Wayne State, the author was encouraged by local civil-rights leaders to apply, along with another classmate, to the Univ. of Georgia as well. Her application became a test of changing racial attitudes, as well as of the growing strength of the civil-rights movement in the South, and Gault became a national figure as she braved an onslaught of hostilities and harassment to become the first black woman to attend the university. A remarkably generous, fair-minded account of overcoming some of the biggest, and most intractable, obstacles ever deployed by southern racists. (Photographs—not seen.)

Pub Date: Nov. 1, 1992

ISBN: 0-374-17563-2

Page Count: 192

Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 1992

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