It came as something of a surprise that I should consider reading, let alone actually to read a book of erotica, or what is more correctly described as 'literary erotica'. Perhaps it was that I'd come across the author, Eden Baylee [...], through her other activities on the web and social media, both literary and charitable. Whatever the reason, I read Spring into Summer
from cover to cover. It is a book of four separate novellas and the sequel to her first book, Fall into Winter
, which was published in 2011.
Each of the four novellas presents a completely different story, from a different part of the world, with very different, but well developed characters. Each story has its own unique appeal, which will peak the interest of anyone who reads the book; in other words there is something for everyone here. I know which is my favourite.
As for the sex, well it's in there, as you might expect from such a literary genre, but it's not gratuitous. It is rather more subtle, a little more beautiful and, like a thriller that builds the tension and expectation of the reader, so too the slow development of real-life relationships. One of the stories doesn't have any sex at all, well, at least not between the main characters in the live plot, other than by suggestion, but rather between corresponding confidantes... I'll reveal no more, other than to say this particular story has a special feeling about it that resonates with the heart-rending longings so beautifully written by Helene Hanff in her delightful book, based on a true story, 84 Charing Cross Road
Eden Baylee is, therefore, not simply your ordinary purveyor of graphically described acts of sex and, clever though she is, you'll be pleased to hear, her writing is not hugely intellectual either. Her characters are, however, like the stories, very accessible, very believable and above all, the stories maintain a flow that rivets your attention and are therefore very readable.
I know which is my favourite of the four stories, but that could be to do with the fact that she dedicated it to poets, whom, she says, have influenced her perspective and were her inspiration for the story. So, if you've never read erotica - other than perhaps leafing through a book to find the most finger smudged pages ;-) - but are tempted to try, this book stands alone as a first class collection of novellas and you should buy it with the intention of reading it from cover to cover; you won't regret the experience. If you are a regular reader, an aficionado, of the genre, then buy this book. I am certain you will not be disappointed.