Chalk is to cheese as men are to women.
The difference between the genders is put on full display in a new novel that is grabbing the attention of the book world.
Susan Minot's "Rapture" finds two former lovers, Benjamin and Kay, in the midst of a reunion.
In a decision that explains a lot of the fervor over her book, Minot sets the entire novel within this encounter, entering the characters' heads as they have sex, in the Bill Clinton definition of the word.
Two bodies can hardly be closer, while two minds couldn't be further apart.
Kay romanticizes the encounter, and thinks about her addiction to Benjamin, how she likes all the things about him that she isn't supposed to and even telling him that her act is an act of "worship."
Benjamin, meanwhile, seems distant during the whole thing, as he contemplates Vanessa, the woman he can't get out from under his skin and wonders what Kay is thinking.
While all of this is going on, Minot has the characters remember the chain of events that brought them together, as well as the reasons they broke up.
"Rapture" is a daring work, to be sure, and Minot takes her time in telling the story of Benjamin and Kay's relationship.
But there's something missing. We never really connect with her characters as they rendezvous.
Ben, in particular, seems like more of a jerk than anything for leading Kay on, and we wish Kay were not so stupid as to fall for him again.
Which is exactly Minot's point in showing the differences between the man and the woman, but it leaves the audience without someone to root for.
Still, "Rapture" is short in comparison to some of the other lengthy tomes currently rocking the literary world (Jonathan Franzen's "The Corrections," for instance) and can easily be digested in one setting.
But readers will still be hungry after finishing it.