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Darby and Juska
on 4 February 2004
I would very much like to think that meeting Jane Juska would be as challenging (...and rewarding?) as reading this book. Whilst I would question whether or not, on her own evidence, the author was actually seeking adventures in romance let alone sex; nevertheless the book is a warm, intelligent and humorous look at life both past and present.
Jane Juska dips into her past either to set the scene for her current situation or to explore her reactions to it. There is much to be made of a Californian scholar with all the psychological baggage (Hints of child abuse, loving parents with no tangible way of showing it, repressive/conservative community) one has come to expect of a West Coast inhabitant.
However ultimately the book is less about romance and sex than good old fashioned self discovery with a dash of "two fingers" at convention. For all that, Jan Juska has a wry humour, easy going writing style and an ability to hold this reader's attention throughout.
The intriguing juxtapositioning of a woman with a newly rekindled appetite for sex meeting men of roughly her age who are impotent, dying or just plain desperate to prove themselves before succumbing to the ultimate reward of age is proof that feminism is alive and well in the land of its birth.
Whether we learn anything new about sex and romance in our twilight years is doubtful but, having found herself and largely come to terms with the outcome, I will continue to imagine that meeting Jane Juska would be a pleasure - to discuss literature of course over a glass of wine.
To paraphrase Jane Juska, the book fails to hit the G spot but is far better than one's own company.