Literary Sex

Posted on 15 November 2013


I’ve been reading a novel that’s full of forbidden love and sex. And I’ve had better. The cover art is appalling and the story is made of many layers of cliché, although aspects of it are interesting and the writing is quite good. I’m pushing through because unfinished books haunt me.

It’s set in middle ages Europe and the central couple is a Jewish midwife and a Catholic canon (kind of a cross between a priest and a monk). They have sex twice and then a bunch of stuff happens and we skip a few years and find them living in another country, a married couple with a little boy (who was conceived during one of the pre-marriage sexy times), posing as a particular flavour of Calvinist.

The sex scenes are quite terrible. They are all desperate, feverish succumbings to whatever psychological bubble the character in question needs to pop. That suited the story up until the time slippage. But then there’s this scene with a loving couple who have been together for four years having the same type of sex. I’m getting the impression that in this world, sex has to be uncontrollable scratchy grabby to be worthwhile.

Now that’s just stupid and judgemental. What about all the other kinds of sex people discover when they’ve been together for years? Or just prefer to have in general. Honestly.

If this story continues on into this couple’s old age, they’re going to break something.