There were only two things (very, very small things) that I liked about Nantucket by Harrison Young –
1. The house described in the book. I have very fixed and romantic ideas about US East Coast holiday destinations.
2. The fact that the main character’s wife greets guests arriving by plane or ferry with a thermos of gin and tonic. That seems sensible.
Other than that, this book was dire. In fact, worse than dire. Chauvinist men, apparently setting up billion dollar deals, talk about sex incessantly (even though they’ve just met) and include their wives in the conversations as if they are part of the ‘deal’. For example –
‘Shiva and I will go get more lobsters,’ said Rosemary, ‘…Those who need naps will take naps.’…
‘What about me?’ said Cynthia.
‘You could go upstairs and fuck your husband,’ said Rosemary blandly. She probably meant it as a joke.
‘I’ve done my bit for today,’ said Cynthia.
‘For a woman who’s had two children, Cathy,’ Rosemary said, ‘your breasts are very nice.’
‘Thank you… there are benefits to being flat-chested.’
‘I wouldn’t say she’s flat-chested,’ said Cynthia reflexively and then looked embarrassed.
‘Are you going to give us a point of comparison, Rosemary?’ said Shiva.
The entire book is an icky middle-aged man fantasy – wife-swapping, lesbian confessions, school girl reminisces, women walking around the kitchen topless, public spankings, boasting about wealth… seriously doubt Harrison Young will ever be invited to a dinner party again.
1/5 Don’t bother.