There is an avalanche of books dealing with the sexual problems of twenty-something and thirty-something women, so many will applaud Edwina Currie tackling a typical modern woman who just happens to be approaching mid-life. Of course, being written by the unblushing Ms. Currie, Chasing Men
is anything but a sociological study--more a raunchy narrative in the style of her A Parliamentary Affair
and A Woman's Place
but with erotic scenes that make her previous work look like something written for a ladies' sewing circle. Even before the book was available, there was much word of mouth on a three-page sequence in which Currie's heroine Hetty vigorously investigates the joys of masturbation and this is a pretty solid indicator of what curious readers might expect (in other words, if sexual discretion in novels is your preference, this is not for you). But those in search of a an exuberant and fiery tale about a woman deciding to re-establish her own sexual identity will definitely find this unputdownable.
Hetty Clarkson, attractive and single, is stuck in a flat she is not happy with and finding it difficult to get that elusive job in the media. But unlike the thousands of young women facing this situation, Hetty is that awkward creature, the mid-life single woman. After a failed marriage, she is being advised by friends and family to chase men--but Hetty isn't convinced. Needless to say, for she decides to alter her life and she is soon sampling an interesting range of men who offer a very diverse range of sexual experiences. Currie has ensured that her sympathetic heroine is surrounded by a satisfyingly characterised group of soul mates: a priest with a taste for the bawdy, an ageing professor and the gay couple upstairs (The treatment of the latter couple reminds one that in her days as an MP, Currie upset many in her party by her distinctly liberal views). All of the characters have challenged convention in one way or another--but does Hetty have what it takes to defy society's hidebound rules and find what she is looking for? As in the earlier books, Currie knows precisely how to keep the reader hanging on for that next paragraph:
Hetty sat on the edge of the bed, lifted the whisky glass to her lips and drank. She shook her head as if to disperse the alcohol more quickly, then poured herself another. The bedside light's pink shade cast a rosy glow over the duvet, the pillows, the library copy of Anais Nin ... and the copy of Hot Sex left on the studio canteen table, which nobody had claimed. She took off her clothes with calm deliberation, let them fall unhindered to the floor. And sat facing the mirror. It needed more whisky: she had never done this before. Never needed to before ...
--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Currie describes being middle-aged and single with verve and humour ... the result is enjoyable (THE TIMES
An extremely light-hearted, upbeat read (EVENING STANDARD
Lie back and enjoy it... fun and fast. (MAIL ON SUNDAY