Well, well, well. Jane Doucet, you have done it again. Just like your first novel, The Pregnant Pause, you have given your reader delightful, multi-faceted characters and laugh out loud passages that made this reader blush. The title of this book could not be more appropriate for what a reader will encounter within its 267 pages.
Hilarious scenes involving backs being “thrown out” and adult children catching their “aged” parents “in the act” are tastefully written. There is no need for a reader to fear any graphic details. The author is clearly making the correlation between sex, the consequences of the act and the deeper feelings that are often overlooked when discussing sex. The author has taken the “taboo” out of talk about sex among the geriatric set.
As Wendy Hebb and her “silent partner husband” Paul, prepare to open an “adult emporium” in a small town, they face varying reactions from all sectors of the town. Prudish high rollers, uptight locals and even the silent partner husband Wendy gets lots of support, however, from some she never, and this reader would never, have expected to give that support. I grew up in small-town Nova Scotia and could easily imagine the reactions of people I knew there would be similar to the reactions of the people in Fishnets & Fantasies*.
Fishnets & Fantasies could not be a more fun name for the shop or the book. The cast of characters here includes an irreverent, female Reverend, a geriatric mayor and a chain-smoking seamstress with a secret past. Characters who live in small towns everywhere. Characters who never get suspected of leading lascivious lives behind closed doors!
“The last time I checked, Thou shalt not impersonate a member of the clergy for carnal pleasure wasn’t one of the Ten Commandments. And anyway, it’s not like I’m holding tarts-and-vicars workshops in the church basement after Sunday Service.”
Jane Doucet has a flare for writing the inner dialogue of characters as they struggle through their triumphs and challenges. The character’s inner dialogue establishes the unspoken thoughts and feelings that ensure the reader can follow along with why they react the way they do. Each character’s backstory here leads the book through to what this reader felt was a satisfying and believable conclusion.
Well-paced, funny and full of slap-stick comedy this book makes perfect reading in the privacy of your own home, but I encourage you to read it at the beach or while waiting at the doctor’s office. I would love to be a “fly on the wall” when you give your answer to the inevitable question – “what’s that book about?”
*This review was based on an advanced reading copy supplied by the publisher. You can read an interview with Jane here: The Jane Doucet Interview – The Miramichi Reader
Jane Doucet is a Halifax-based journalist whose articles have appeared in myriad magazines and newspapers, including Chatelaine, Canadian Living, Halifax Magazine and The Globe and Mail. In 2017 she self-published her debut novel, The Pregnant Pause, which was shortlisted for a 2018 Whistler Independent Book Award. Jane’s humour-filled novels explore relatable relationship struggles that are touched by love, longing, and loss. She calls her second novel a “love letter” to Lunenburg, Nova Scotia, one of her favourite places. Jane lives in Halifax, Nova Scotia, with her husband.
- Publisher : Vagrant Press (July 13 2021)
- Language : English
- Paperback : 272 pages
- ISBN-13 : 978-1771089586
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