Review of Maria Housden’s Unravelled from Atlantic monthly:
Powell’s Books - Review-a-Day - Unraveled by Maria Housden, reviewed by The Atlantic Monthly
But here’s the next turn: although old Maria Martell feels that spurning domestic wifehood is necessary if she is to pursue her dreams, her fate is not exactly to be single either. Enter, to the artists’ retreat, Roger Housden — English writer, photographer, and explorer of such exotic places as Africa and India. Although he’s fifty-three and she’s thirty-five, the two speak a similar metaphysical language. He is given to utterances like “Beauty, Beauty, you are the sun.” And later, when he asks in wonder, “Who are you?,” she elatedly replies, with typical Boomer math, “I am the second half of your life.” Roger exudes boyishness and a kind of heady European sophistication; personal details given include both that he wears clogs and has a medicine kit containing Eternity cologne and a tiny bottle of tea-rose oil. Often seen sweaty and wearing only running shorts, he is described rapturously as having a “mossy, musky” scent. This was when my horrendous attack of the giggles began. The mossy, musky scent, combined with the clogs … it was too much. I raised my hands in protest, as if to ward off the inevitable tantric sex, but here it came anyway.
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