Love Again: Novel, a
Author: Lessing, Doris
Publisher: Harper Perennial
Condition: Used: Very Good
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The first new novel from Doris Lessing in more than seven years, "Love, Again" tells the story of a 65 year old woman who falls in love. Or rather, Sarah Durham falls into a state of love, which is another country altogether and struggles to maintain her sanity while there.
Widowed for many years, with grown children, Sarah is a writer who works in the theater in London. When she falls in love with a seductive young actor, the beautiful and androgynous 28 year old Bill, and then with the more mature, 35 year old director Henry, Sarah finds herself in a state of longing and desire she thought the province of younger women.
Each of the characters in "Love, Again" is deeply involved in the production of a play based on the journals of Julie Vairon, a lovely and wayward French girl from Martinique. A "free woman" ahead of her time, Vairon followed a young lover to France, where she remained until her tragic death in 1912, just before the First World War, which changed the lives of women forever -- or did it? Sarah's entanglement with Julie Vairon's life -- her art, her seductive and disturbing music, her love affairs -- informs Sarah's relationships with several men, all of them under the spell of Julie and the theater.
This richly textured novel explores the affinities and connections between romantic love, depression and grief, homesickness and the emotional deprivations of childhood. The two men with whom Sarah falls in love, one after the other, cause her to relive her own stages of growing up, from immature and infantile love to the mature.
Closer to "The Golden Notebook" in its ironies and complexities than anything Doris Lessing has written since, "Love, Again" is abrilliant anatomy of love -- of longing, grief and older woman's sexuality, of all the experiences of love available to a woman in her lifetime -- from a master of human psychology who is also one of the most daring writers of fiction at work today.