From Publishers Weekly
Everything but the sex seems to be the theme of this fluffy dating chronicle by British journalist Anderson. Having recently turned 30 and being determined to break a baffling, bruising cycle of consistently mistak[ing] casual hookups for rose-tinted beginnings, Anderson decided that she'd had enough sex without love; it was time to try love without sex. The purpose? Not, as she hints with feminist bravado, to become faithful to my instincts nor even to achieve emotional self-sufficiency (as she enjoyed some playful banter with potential boyfriends like Dan, Jake, Quiet Guy, the Beau, N, Rafiq, and so on), but to snare a mate—and that sadly didn't happen at the end of this year. Using an unwieldy chronological structure by month, Anderson moves from her resolve to embark on a year of chastity after a final emotional disappointment with Jake in late summer (You sleep with these men too soon, her mother had warned her), through numerous travels and dissatisfying encounters between London and New York. Along with way, Anderson lards each chapter with ponderous emotional reflections, injecting just enough research and quotes from heavies to keep the reader engaged, such as brief mentions of psychotherapist Brett Kahr, a Hepburn-Tracy movie, chastity rites in ancient times, and Samuel Richardson's Pamela.(June)
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Can a smart, attractive 30-year-old woman go a year without nookie? That’s the question pondered in British writer Anderson’s titillating, if surprisingly tepid, memoir. For Anderson, the sight of her college boyfriend exiting a jewelry store with his smiling fiancée makes an unsavory reality crystal clear: it’s been years since a man told her he loved her. Sure, she’s had plenty of sex, but has she—gasp!—been mistaking the physical act for love? To test her theory, she continues to flirt and date but resists succumbing to sweaty sessions between the sheets. Her willpower weakens when she spends time with sweet and sexy Jake, who has a girlfriend he refuses to break up with. (Anderson had been involved with Jake prior to her celibacy vow, and his response to her proclamation is a hearty guffaw.) Anderson interweaves her confessional tales with commentary on the likes of chastity belts, corsets, and porn. Readers may find all this a bit too much information, without the insight to make it worth their while, but the premise alone will keep them reading. --Allison Block