Who doesn’t love a good story where the protagonist finds out a few pivotal fundamental truths about his or herself as a result of a major catastrophe? After all, didn’t Outlander become so popular because it allowed readers to vicariously live out a life that only came to be because of a total life change? Stop reading now if you shook your head because you are clearly a liar.
Perfect Sex, written by Australian novelist Robin Storey, cleverly delves deep into the post-divorce self-discovery formula and spins it around on its literal head. In fact, she subverts it so fast and so well that at times I felt like I was reading a prequel to Bridget Jones’ Diary, minus the recent nightmarish images of Renee Zellweger’s post-surgery face.
In this case, Storey’s protagonist Susie Hamilton is a character with qualities that all of us can relate with. She’s confused at startling personal revelations, but she’s also skeptically authentic with her goals and ideals. Truth be told, Susie is not so unlike the gaggle of ladies you overhear at the bar talking about the marvels of the Internet and what happened last week on Scandal. What makes Susie so average is what makes her so interesting. The reader roots for her as she navigates the stormy waters of online dating, of choosing the right profile picture, and her quest to achieve critical and financial success with her best-selling novel that chronicles her true-life romantic liaisons. These liaisons, though familiar thanks to the media’s barrage of covering ‘dates gone wrong,’ had me giggling crazily at times.
While Storey can sometimes veer towards a slightly too-explicit narrative with details that could potentially make readers outside of the targeted demographic slightly uncomfortable (Fred, Susie’s vibrator, could be considered a supporting character), her talent as a writer shines most brightly in the moments where Susie examines her true purposes and motivations. It’s that universal thematic construct of soul-searching and the quest for happiness that makes Perfect Sex more than your average romantic comedy sex farce. By the end, you’ll realize that Susie Hamilton just wants to feel loved. After all, who doesn’t?
Perfect Sex is available for purchase at amazon.com, smashwords.com, and other fine retailers.