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The Sex Life of My Aunt Paperback – 17 Mar 2003


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Product details

  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Faber & Faber; New edition edition (17 Mar. 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 057120533X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0571205332
  • Product Dimensions: 12.7 x 2 x 19.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,097,759 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

Amazon Review

After a traumatic and poverty-stricken childhood, Dilys, the heroine of Mavis Cheek's novel The Sex Life of My Aunt, has led an ideal existence for the past 30 years. Her devoted and successful husband Francis has paid the bills, kept her in fine clothes, indulged her fantasies about writing a book. She's wanted for nothing. Until one day, after a funeral, she finds herself in tears on a railway station, and a handsome young stranger offers her a handkerchief. The innocence of this brief encounter swiftly turns into a hideous campaign of deceit, as Dilys is sucked into an intense love affair, and experiences heights of passion she'd always believed beyond her reach. But the lies she must tell to sustain it lead Dilys to make some shocking discoveries about her own past.

The incorrigible Aunt Eliza of the book's title might be described as a "national treasure". So indeed, might the novel itself. Its cast--composed of well-meaning husbands, earnest radicals in bedsits, redoubtable old ladies in Lichfield--is vivid, irresistible, yet utterly familiar. Its backdrop of local trattorias, mini-breaks and Dorset holiday cottages is as comforting as a much-loved cardigan. But this is how--like Barbara Pym before her--Mavis Cheek establishes herself as a genius of the modern morality tale. In depicting the ordinary with such vigour, she prepares us to confront the extraordinary, the sometimes brutal truths that lurk behind the most homely façade. To do so--and be hilariously funny at the same time--is a rare gift. --Matthew Baylis --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Review

'Energetic, witty and brimming with good sense, Cheek's astute social comedies point out to receptive ears the pitfalls of love, sex, and the contradictory mess that is the female state.' -- Independent

'Like Joanna Trollope, she combines a sharp eye for the foibles of human nature with a generous amount of sympathy for her characters. The result is a modern morality tale, skilfully told, about the age-old conflict between love and money.' -- The Times

'This is light, entertaining stuff, but this book is streets ahead of the usual run of romantic comedy . . . Cheek is a genuinely witty writer with the ability to make you laugh out loud.' -- Daily Mail

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Customer Reviews

3.8 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

14 of 14 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 24 April 2003
Format: Paperback
You can read a huundred books and not find one as fantastic as this one. I find myself, half way through "The Sex Life of My Aunt" trying to 'pace myself' so that it will last forever, yet like the experience Mavis Cheek is describing in it, I find myself thinking about it in the bath, while lying in bed and sneaking off to quiet corners so that I can bury myself in it!
Anybody who has found themselves in the less than ideal situation of trying to juggle a wonderful husband and a wonderful lover will feel a bond with the heroine of this book. It is a sensational, hillarious, and hair raising read which in a strange way I found very comforting through associating with everything that was going on. If Mavis Cheek isn't writing this book from first hand experience then she has the greatest insight of any writer alive!
Wonderful, fantastic, READ IT!
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 30 April 2003
Format: Paperback
This is the first Mavis Cheek novel I've read and I just couldn't put it down! I found myself rushing home from work to read it and sneaking a few pages whilst making the tea! This is a story of an extra-marital affair, but written in such a tongue-in-cheek and wryly funny way that it often made me laugh out loud. Dilys is a 50-something woman who is very happily married, that is until she has a chance encounter with Matthew (a much younger man) whilst grieving (on public transport) over the death of her sister . Then begins a juggling game - a game of growing lies and deceptions. Dilys suddenly finds that she doesn't love her husband as much as she thought she did and just longs to be with Matthew all the time. The guilt is very strong, however, because her husband, Francis, is a very kind and caring man and Dilys cannot bear the thought of hurting him, even though Matthew has begged her to leave Francis. The compromising positions Dilys gets herself into, especially whilst pretending to visit her very elderly aunt, are often hilarious. This is a superb read. Don't miss it!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By maria1971 on 21 Oct. 2004
Format: Paperback
This is a story about a woman following her heart ... or not. It is about the limits set upon us by our upbringing, or by ourselves, and the dilemma of whether to 'blow it all sky high' for love .. or not.
Well-written, witty, well-paced, but I thought the was ending a bit abrupt and weak compared to the rest of the book.
Though maybe not all that likeable in her own right, I found myself feeling very sympathetic towards the heroine, Dilys, and I feel that every reader will find there's a part of Dilys they'll be able to relate to.
Looking forward to reading more from Mavis Cheek.
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17 of 20 people found the following review helpful By small space on 16 Mar. 2002
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Mavis Cheek has excelled herself. Always a wonderful read, her latest novel 'The Sex Life of My Aunt' is even funnier, and more cutting in its observations of the behaviour of the female of the species in her middle years, than ever. If you've ever indulged in that most wonderful, painful, uplifting and insane of experiences - an extra marital love affair - be prepared to wince with recognition at every page, just before erupting into gaffaws of delight. A must read. Begin early on a free day because you will not be able to put it down!
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Format: Paperback
This is a very funny, witty book that looks at the intricacies of human relationships. Dilys is a fifty something wife and mother who is married to a rich lawyer who is devoted to her and has provided her with a life that belies the poor start she had. The death of her closest friend starts her on a new journey - an affair with Matthew, a sexy younger man who is in parts the opposite of her rigid and organised husband and yet at the same time shares his ideals and morals.

Falling madly in love with Matthew, Dilys is torn between duty to Francis, her husband and her new man. She tries to juggle the two without hurting either and this leads her into a number of comic situations and ultimately makes her question who she is and what she wants out of life.

There is an interesting twist at the end and by the end you feel as though you have been through the ringer with Dilys.

I'm giving it four stars because Cheek does have a tendency to waffle on and I found myself skipping over some parts but other than that, it was a really good book and I would thoroughly recommend it as a holiday read.
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By Amazon Customer on 27 Jun. 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
A really enjoyable book. It aways feels as though the author has lived these experiences she writes about, so real sre the emotions described.
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