I received a review for my book (YAY! Thank you, Reviewer Person!) that intrigued me. The reviewer enjoyed the story but apparently took issue with how my heroine handled her situation. It’s quite likely that I’m reading too much into it (we Sensitive People often do), but I got the feeling it bothered her that Ana seemed to be operating more on instinct than any sort of rational decision-making process. I agree. She was relying far too much on instinct, impulse, and was much too intent on answering her more primal urges to even consider any sort of rational decision-making process.
Two things in the review stood out for me: I got a definite sense of disapproval toward an older woman who was “hungry for the world” (I really love that phrase, by the way: it aptly describes so many of us). I also sensed disdain for a woman who would act on the “baser” pleasure-driven instincts, and go so far as to throw away years of marriage, family, and friends in order to realize what, at first look, might be an idyllic existence.
And why not? Are men the only ones allowed to have mid-life crises and long for something completely different? There’s a certain amount of “Atta Boy!” that gets brunted about when a middle-aged fellow runs off to greener pastures, children and spouse be damned. But when a woman does it, there’s head-shaking and tsk-tsking all around. And I fear there always will be. It’s part of what I tried to address in my book, in a round-about and somewhat subtle way.
Once, we Women Of A Certain Age were invisible. But it’s getting to the point, now, where many of us WOACAs grew up during the sexually permissive sixties and seventies, and we have a whole different view on sex and visibility. We happen to enjoy sex, because we found out we could enjoy sex. That orgasm thing — what a concept! And once you let that genii out of the bottle, good luck getting her back in. That old saying “There may be snow on the roof, but there’s still fire in the furnace” applies to the female of the species, too, you know.
“The Gentle Man” is available at these fine stores:
CreateSpace Store (Old School hardcopy)
Screwpulp (something new: check ’em out!)