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Selfish Jean Hardcover – 7 Apr 2006
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"There is plenty to like about Selfish Jean . . . It is a slice of domestic realism . . . [a] talented writer" -- Nicholas Clee, Times Literary Supplement, 31 March, 2006
She wants to be a successful art photographer, but no one likes her work. She wants a child, but is virtually menopausal. She wants to stay with her husband, though she’s not sure she likes him anymore.See all Product description
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Here we find a seemingly personal account, embellished with philosophical and personal observations. This produces a contemporary vision of what its like, becoming 40 and realising that you don't fit in with normal couples who are 'blessed' with children, and how we become pressured to follow certian routes.
Cate provides insight through provocation and pathos. Also there are moments of true comedy genius - Watch out for the characterisation of 'Suzy G', and certain sexual impropriety in religious dwellings.
Its an engaging read, and something quite unique. It surprises you from a plot perspective, and reveals emotional depth.
It transgresses what becomes of the characters, and makes you question yourself - something unique in contemporary fiction.
There is plenty of laugh out loud humour, but this is essentially a serious tale with an appropriate rather than a happy ending. I liked the style, too, though it surprised me at first. It apparently flowed like natural thought, but unlike that process, it was never repetitious. I suppose 'this book will make you think' wouldn't be the greatest promotion to put on any cover these days, but that's what I felt it did.
Highly recommended and a great first novel !