Laura Rider’s Masterpiece

Stayed up late to finish the new Jane Hamilton novel. It’s nothing so obvious as a page turner but it does have a fascinating funny plot, especially for writers who want a few laughs with their literature. 

Nobody in the book is a writer, although Laura wants to be. She thinks about it and plots about it and dreams about it. She wants to write a specific sort of romance, the romance of the new woman, the romance that will be exciting and unique and modern. Because, from the how-to books she’s read, she sees that her idea of a realistsic heroine doesn’t fit the expected patterns.

Laura’s husband is a gorgeous guy, a perfect sexy hero, a guy who worships her, adores her body, and does whatever Laura asks without complaint, right down to moving out of the master bedroom when Laura decides she’s done with sex. They remain good friends and partners in a thriving business. To all the world they look like a happy married couple, although he’s so cute the townspeople think he’s gay.

Into this comes an intelligent radio celebrity with the kind of ironic savvy that sails over Laura’s head. Somehow she strikes up a whimsical email friendship with the husband, and Laura, instead of being jealous, is elated. She has a real life infatuated couple to study for her novel.

This is necessary research, since she doesn’t read many books. Literary mayhem ensues. And Hamilton gives book lovers, readers and writers alike, much to think about as they laugh.

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