Are you on the lookout for a sexy (queer) beach read that is also super smart? I’ve been hearing a lot lately about the latest novel from the Calgary-born, Toronto and Greece-residing author Karen Connelly and I think it might be just that. It’s called The Change Room. I just got my review copy in the mail today! Here’s the publisher’s blurb:
Happily married, great career, mother of two. What more could a woman possibly want? Enter The Change Room, by award-winning writer Karen Connelly, and find out.
Eliza Keenan is the mother of two young sons, the owner of a flower studio that caters to the city’s elite, and the loving wife of a deliciously rumpled math professor named Andrew. She’s on the move from dawn until her boys are in bed, and after they’re asleep she cleans her house. Her one complaint about her life is that the only time she has for herself is her twice-weekly swim in the local community centre pool, where sunlight shines in through a tall window and lights up the water in a way that reminds her of the year she spent as a footloose youth on an island in Greece. Then one morning into this life that is full of satisfactions of all kinds except sexual (because who has the time or the energy once the kids are asleep?) comes a tall, dark and lovely stranger, a young woman Eliza encounters at the pool and nicknames ‘the Amazon.’ The sight of this woman, naked in the change room, completely undoes Eliza, and soon the two of them are entangled in an affair that breaks all the rules, and threatens to capsize not only Eliza and her happy family, but her lover’s world, too. And yet the sex is so all-encompassing, so intimate, so true…how can it be bad? Be ready to be shaken up, woken up, scandalized and deeply stirred.
You can find out for yourself if this is the book you should bring to your next beach or lake trip if you’re in or around Vancouver this week, as Karen has two events coming up! The first is on May 25th at Paper Hound books (one of my favourite Vancouver bookstores) and the second is on May 26th at Banyen Books (a Kitsilano neighbourhood landmark). At Paper Hound, the event will be an intimate reading with Karen, starting at 6:30. At Banyen Books (also starting at 6:30), Victor Chan will be joining her to talk about “the crucial, often neglected role of the sensual and sexual in our busy modern lives.” Both events are free! I am definitely going to be at one or the other (or both!) of these events and will hopefully see you there?