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My Hundred Lovers by Susan Johnson
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My Hundred Lovers (2012)

by Susan Johnson

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Beautifully written, unique images . It amounts to a life story. Along the way we have visions, tactile, detailed, beautiful, of many things. Some few are lovers of the sexual kind. Others are people in her life, or things, or places, or perceptions. It's a very sensual, sensuous way of thinking about what makes up a life. ( )
  annejacinta | Apr 28, 2014 |
My Hundred Lovers is written by Aussie author Susan Johnson and I've been reading it as part of an Allen & Unwin read-along, and you can read more about my experience on my blog.

The premise of the book is a woman turning fifty who reflects on her life and sorts through her body's memories. In 100 chapters, the woman - who refers to herself throughout the novel as 'the girl', Deb and 'the Suspicious Wanderer' - gives us her one hundred lovers; in essence one hundred sensual memories.

From first glance at the title, a potential reader might assume the main character to have had one hundred sexual lovers, however this is not the case. Deb's sensual memories do include lovers, however they also include other physical memories such as the love of croissants, riding a horse, the sensation of her mother's red fingernails scratching her back or the feel of raindrops on her face.

Each chapter is a vignette, a glimpse into Deb's life and the chapters are not always in strict chronological order. This is a personal and at times revealing piece of fiction and Deb is very open and honest when reflecting on her physical intimacy with her lovers; men and women. At times sexy, at times a little confronting but nevertheless it was moving throughout as it followed the path of Deb's exploration of self.

While reading this book I couldn't help but begin to think of my own physical memories, what would my own list contain if I were to create one in the same style? I would definitely include the smell of fresh cut grass, and the glorious sensation of getting into a bed warmed by an electric blanket on a chilly night.

Deb left one of her most important relationships until the very end of the book, the revealing of which drew a surprised and sad groan from me. This was clever writing and left me wanting more. The read-along definitely enhanced my enjoyment of the book and if the above has piqued your interest I definitely recommend My Hundred Lovers for your reading pleasure. ( )
1 vote Carpe_Librum | Jun 24, 2012 |
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For Bocognano, with love and admiration
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Romance between the average couple
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A Woman, on the eve of her fiftieth birthday, reflects on one hundred moments from a lifetime's sensual adventures.
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Lyrical and exquisite, My Hundred Lovers captures the sheer wonder of life, desire and love. A woman, on the eve of her fiftieth birthday, reflects on her days with one hundred scenes from a life adding up to a simple human truth. Character and sexual identity entwine and after all the emotion, the love, the hatred and the despair is done with, the great and trivial acts of her bodily life reveal an imperfect, yet whole self. By turns humorous, sharp, haunting and wise, this is an original and exhilarating novel from one of Australia's premier writers.… (more)

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