Will has a good sex life with the woman he married. So why then is he
increasingly plagued by violent erotic fantasies that, were they to break out of
his imagination and into the real world, have the power to destroy not only his
family but his career? He's about to lose his grip when he attends a college
reunion and there discovers evidence of a past sexual betrayal, one serious
enough that it threatens to overpower the present, even as it offers a key to
Will's dangerous obsessions.
Hypnotic, beautifully written, this mesmerizing novel by "an extremely gifted writer" (San Francisco Chronicle) explores the corrosive effect of eviland how painful psychological truths long buried within a family can corrupt the present and, through courage and understanding, lead to healing and renewal. "Like Scheherezade in the grip of a fever dream, Kathryn Harrison . . . has written one of those rare books, in language of unparalleled beauty, that affirm the holiness of life," said Shirley Ann Grau, about Poison. And the same can be said about Envy.
Will leans out of the driver's-side window toward his wife. "It's not too late to
change your mind," he says.
Her dark glasses show him the houses on their side of the block, greatly reduced and warped by the convexity of each lens. The fancy wrought-iron bars on their neighbor's windows, the bright plastic backboard of the Little Tikes basketball hoop one door down, the white climbing rose, suddenly and profusely in bloom, on the trellis by their own mailbox: it's as if he were studying one of those jewel-like miniatures painted in Persia during the sixteenth century; the longer Will looks, the more tiny details he finds.
"Did you remember to bring pictures?" Carole asks.
He points to an envelope on the seat beside him. "I mentioned the pool at the hotel?"
Envy was a disappointment after The Binding Chair. Call me middle-aged but there are just so many subjects that I find more interesting than other people's sexual fantasies. However, I can see that Envy would be of appeal to many. As always, we provide an excerpt so that you can browse the book for yourself and decide if it's right for you.
(Reviewed by BookBrowse Review Team).
Full Review (337 words).
Can a book have substantial sexual content and still be considered literary? When it's written by Kathryn Harrison, some say the answer is yes, others say not on your life! She is the author of 7 novels and 5 non-fiction books, including her memoirs, The Kiss (1997), in which she describes her four year affair with her estranged father which began when she was 20, and The Mother Knot (2004), in which she goes back to her childhood with a dysfunctional mother and grandmother, and absent father. Her first ...
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