A Round-Heeled WomaN: MY LATE-LIFE ADVENTURES IN SEX AND ROMANCE by Jane Juska (Random House), 272 pages, $35.95 cloth. Rating: NNNN Rating: NNNN
It's not often a 66-year old woman puts a personal ad in the New York Review of Books looking for "a lot of sex," conversation optional. And then puts her experiences into a book. It's not surprising that A Round-Heeled Woman is getting so much attention because of author Jane Juska's age and the fact that she missed sex and wanted to experience it again.
But all that misses the point. Juska does write honestly about her romps between the sheets, but at the heart of her story is her frank retelling of the defining moments in her life as they relate to her sexuality. Pure gold.
She's no stereotypical lonely old lady with a house full of cats. Juska leads a full and rewarding life. She volunteers at San Quentin State Prison, she's an escort for abortion clinic patients, she sings in a choir and teaches part-time at a college. There's only one thing missing - sex.
Like most women, Juska was brought up to believe that good girls don't. She examines her innermost fears, confronts them head on and takes us on a journey that's both funny and painful.
Juska has the courage to describe her first forays into intimacy, with Danny, the blind date from hell, and Jonah, her first bedmate, who much later announced, "I no longer desire you." Ouch!
She writes breezily (think Moll Flanders) about what it's like to be single, a woman and a senior in search of intimacy, and demonstrates that good girls may go to heaven, but bad girls go everywhere.
How inspiring is this book? I placed my personal ad three weeks ago.
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