E-MAIL by Stephanie D. Fletcher


A Love Story
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 Non-initiates to the communications revolution can now enjoy cyber-romance on the printed page--thanks to this epistolary first novel by a North Carolina writer. Katherine Simmons's 45th birthday is approaching all too quickly, compelling the former beauty and loyal southern wife to take stock of her life to date. Married to a successful businessman whose obsession with work (and perhaps with another woman) takes him out of town several nights each week; the mother of twin teenage boys who are preparing to flee the nest; and with no career experience other than volunteer work, Katherine feels a little depressed by what she sees. Stuck at home one week, she turns to her computer for distraction, logging onto the Luxnet electronic network and clicking onto the Adult Topics Bulletin Board as though Fate itself were controlling her hand. In Adult Topics, Katherine encounters a range of characters, frantically flirting, confessing, propositioning, and otherwise electronically toying with themselves and with one another. Katherine leaps right in, introducing herself as a ``bored'' and ``antsy'' woman in need of friends--with the result that she's soon carrying on a pair of simultaneous on-line love affairs: one with Buck, the owner of a Texas oil-drilling operation, the other with Jack, a cardiologist in California. A flurry of exchanged messages establishes a few basic personal facts, then moves on to an exchange of photographs via snail mail, fervid erotic imaginings via computer, and, finally, obsessive phone sex. While several of Katherine's new acquaintances foolishly arrange to meet their electronic lovers in person, Katherine wisely uses her on-line affairs to heighten her marital sex life--and drops her ghostly lovers instantly when her husband decides he wants her after all. Long, bland stretches alternate with vulgar, hyperexplicit sexual confessions: a cheap, easy, and convincing glimpse of modern American cybersex--for what that may be worth.

Pub Date: Jan. 30th, 1996
ISBN: 1-55611-477-X
Page count: 208pp
Publisher: Donald Fine
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 15th, 1995