From Library Journal
Bound to be controversial, this debut novel from a young Australian writer features four women friends discussing their sex lives and fantasies in frank detail. In doing so, they raise such issues as the difference between pornography and erotica, the role of gender politics in society, and what constitutes feminism. Along the way, Jaivin also manages to puncture many literary and critical pretensions. Her writing is often funny and satiric, and by layering stories she keeps the reader guessing about what is "real" and what is fantasy. Still, while some readers might enjoy the humor, off-beat characters, and discussions of social trends, others will be shocked and offended by the explicit language and descriptions of what might be perceived as bizarre sexual acts. A possibility for adventurous general readers and some women's studies collections, but purchase with caution.-?Barbara E. Kemp, SUNY at Albany Libs.
Copyright 1997 Reed Business Information, Inc.
From Kirkus Reviews
Combine a saucy, Waiting to Exhale sort of girl-gossip tone with Vox's lusty sexuality and you get this witty, sophisticated (if unfortunately titled) tale of four Australian women friends' amatory peccadillos. Julia, a photographer, adores younger men--even if they do exhibit a frustrating refusal to commit. Helen, a ``whole-grain loaf'' of a lit professor, can whip up a salacious fantasy about any man despite her feminist politics and anxiety about her weight. Chantal, the anoretic fashion editor of a style magazine, prefers the safety of gay men to the arrogant hetero poseurs she's met in the past. And Philippa, a self-defined lesbian and voyeur, claims she keeps herself sexually satisfied by committing her erotic fantasies to paper. Meeting at Sydney's Caf Da Vida, these four high-powered women, all in their early 30s, relish exchanging reports of exceptional one-night stands, libidinous fantasies, shocking past encounters, and erotic schemes for the future. As Chantal recalls her student/mentor S&M relationship with a now- renowned poet and fends off drooling fellow espresso drinkers at the caf, Julia tells of seducing a dreadlocked 21-year-old, then flying off to China, where she's ravished in a park by a local contortionist and snake-charmer. Helen captivates her friends with an impossibly lush and funny fantasy of a seaside encounter with Rambo, then stuns them with the re-creation of a tryst with a truck driver. What these three women don't realize as they chat over their cappuccino is that quiet Philippa is taking mental notes, and that their secrets will soon appear in ``fictionalized'' form in a novel entitled Eat Me. Philippa is soon forgiven, though, as her friends note that she's as generous in print with her own past as with theirs. Already a bestseller in its native Australia (the author was raised in Connecticut but works as a freelance journalist in Sydney), this tossed salad of erotic scenarios charms as few examples of its genre ever have. ($50,000 ad/promo; author tour) -- Copyright ©1997, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.