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Katie in Love Kindle Edition
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At first glance, a basic description of the plot is not especially promising: A handsome physician with a clouded romantic past hooks up on New Year’s Eve with an attractive, if slightly self-absorbed writer of erotic fiction. The doctor is a dedicated do-gooder, working in the Third World with the poorest of the poor, and he must shortly return to his frontier practice after a short holiday in London. The sex is better than good, and there is clearly a spark between these two—or, at least, the heroine thinks there might be. But, of course, there are obstacles, both real and imagined, trivial and serious, to that proverbial happily-ever-after, and therein lies the tale.
This could easily serve as the framework for almost any potboiler romance—I sometimes suspect that certain authors keep a template on their computers in lieu of an outline, making it fast and easy to fill in a set of blanks, different names and slightly altered details here and there to suit. It’s the way such basic plot-skeletons are fleshed out that, in the end, makes the difference between the merely amusing and the genuinely enlightening, the disposable and the indispensable, the generic remainder and the future classic; ultimately separates the hackish has-been from the undisputed mistress of her craft.
And—wowzer!—is Chloe Thurlow ever the latter! This is highly original storytelling of breathtaking assurance and awesome craft. Especially impressive is the way the author integrates essential backstory into a highly-elaborate, almost symphonic structure, gradually revealing her character’s pasts in a kind of grand, sweeping arc —wholly visible only at the end—expertly overlaying and bridging the narrative of the here-and-now. And yet again, as in any well-conceived symphony, the intimate phrases, the solo passages and moments for small ensemble are as deliciously memorable and moving as the mightiest tutti.
There is no forced conflict here, no contrived melodrama. Katie’s self-doubt may be de rigueur in the genre, but this is not the shallow, formulaic wool-gathering of the typical romantic heroine fresh out of central-stereotype casting. For once, we are treated to genuine introspection. This author respects her characters—and herself— too much to treat them like mere ex machina plot facilitators or pawns—and she gives her supporting players a chance to shine as well, portraying them as real people with real passions and real things to say, rather than convenient constructs, employed to inject odious or disagreeable alternate points of view into the story, thus eschewing preachiness and propaganda—the conjoined-twin buzzkills of otherwise-intelligent storytelling
Thurlow’s writing is very much like her main character; moody—by turns melancholy and reflective—beautiful, sensuous and cerebral. This is “writer-ly” writing to be sure, the sort that stirs serious critical buzz and garners shelffuls of prestigious literary awards—or would if life were fair. Not that there isn’t a good deal of authorial absolute certainty here—the sort of “let me dazzle you, dear reader” assertions brooking no contradiction that judges for those awards seem so thoroughly to adore. One sometimes gets the sense that Katie is as much the author’s thinly veiled personal avatar as her creature. And yet, there is a depth to all her characters—a feat in itself—but, even more impressively, a sophistication—a real, complex dimensionality—to the world they inhabit, a compelling richness that transcends the banal mechanics of genre scene-setting.
And what a world it is! There’s grit as well as glamour here; a hefty dose of moral complexity to go with the simple thrills of lust, a certain seriousness to balance these lovers’ candy-floss flirtations with all their delightfully glib sweet nothings. They are not so blinded by love as to be willfully ignorant of the turmoil that surrounds them. They delve the issues of the day, discuss geo-politics and macro-economics, lament the cancerous inequality in a society grown so rich that it can no longer see the poor; the clueless high-rise-dwelling haves and the hustling ant-like have-nots below, so far apart that one can never truly comprehend the life of the other. The author does not blink at the painful contradictions in her own heroine’s heart, feeling guilty about her own privilege, but also helpless in the face of need she has never been encouraged to consider.
Things come, more or less, to a conventional head; the characters arrive at a cusp and must decide what to do with the rest of their lives. At first glance, the leisurely leave-taking of the penultimate chapters feels like a let-down after what has gone before, the tying up of all the loose strands of the narrative in a bow that seems overly elaborate. Yet, without this dream-like bridge the ending itself might have seemed too abrupt, too pat. In retrospect, it is just right. Along the way the author seems to play a set of elaborate variations—something like one of J.S. Bach’s mind-bending masterpieces for the harpsichord—her deft fingers gently pressing the keys of our imagination until we can only groan with delight.
As the stunning—and stunningly clever—heroine of “Katie in Love” reminds us, the great twentieth-century English literary critic Cyril Connolly once said “whenever you start writing a book, you must set out to write a masterpiece . . .”
In this, Chloe Thurlow has succeeded magnificently.
It probably sounds like I’m romanticizing Thurlow’s work– but I’m not. There’s something incredibly intimate about Katie in Love that does all of the romancing for me. There were times when reading Katie left me feeling like I had just seen the author naked– and Chloe, if you’re reading this, consider me seduced. There’s a definite sense of voyeurism to the piece, a floaty realism that leaves one wondering how much of the story is fact and how much is fiction. Katie in Love is both erotic and elegant, delicate but bold.
It’s a hell of a story, in the most classic sense of the word. They just don’t write books like this anymore. Thurlow spins a tale like she’s traveled to us from a classier time to bring fine literature to the masses.
The primary plot is basic– as basic as all love stories are, when you get right down to it. Katie Boyd meets sex bomb doctor Tom Bridge at a New Year’s eve party and they do the deed; a romance blossoms, a bond is formed, the sex is magnificent and the banter is to die for. But Katie is no simpering Austenesque regency heroine who can’t step out in the rain without catching a deadly cold. She’s an intellectual, a former catholic school girl with a naughty side. Katie meets her friends at lesbian bars, writes erotic novels and forms trysts with her tutors that are just as educational in the books as they are naked, on top of them. And Tom is no General Hospital extra, either– he’s running a non-profit for children in Sri Lanka and running away from the kind of ex-girlfriend that every one of us fears deep down inside.
The thing about this book is that it’s honest, honest in the most fascinatingly baring ways. It’s not just Katie that one feels emotionally entangled in after reading; it’s Thurlow as well, her writing, her poetic patterns of speech and her particular way of teasing out the most intimate of details with her words.
You’ll never read another book like it again– and it’s ripe for a second read.
I have read other books from Chloe Thurlow and this is different.
Softer, sweeter, harmonious, yet still erotic.
The story has a feeling of calmness, easy flowing,
soul stirring as the author takes you on a journey
with Katie Boyd and Tom Bridge.
Katie a writer of erotic novels and Tom a doctor who works with
children in Sri Lanka.
Different as night and day yet destined soul mates.
Sometimes, it only takes a single word, a color, a scent, or a touch to
catapult us back in time.
The author has done just that as Katie reminiscences some pivotal points
in her life.
A snapshot of who she is, where she came from and how much is she
willing to surrender for what she wants.
Questioning the unknown, love…
“I had lost my sense of balance, of equilibrium. I understood how strangers met and fell into bed,
not how they met and fell in love. I wasn't sure what falling in love meant.”
Luscious scenes as Katie and Tom discover erogenous zones with
passionate kisses, magical strokes and oral intimate acts.
This is after all an erotic romance.
The ending unexpected and welcomed with this becoming my
favorite of the authors’ work.
Beautifully written erotic love story.
Most recent customer reviews
Blimey, this had me blushing to my roots! The sexy scenes made my legs a bit wobbly. They were extremely well written.Read more