Sylvia Brownrigg's Pages for You
is the story of a sentimental, sensual education, a love affair between a student and a teacher--all blushes, kisses, books and poetry. Flannery is just 17 and a first-year student at an American university; Anne, a lecturer, is 28: "wise, well-travelled, sophisticated". Flannery sees this red-haired, red-lipped goddess drinking coffee in a diner, wearing "pointed, pretty, argumentative boots", and is immediately smitten. Her dreams begin to taunt her with a "bawdy vividness", and much to her surprise the dreams become a reality, when Anne returns her affections. The story is beautifully paced, in small, concise chapters, each capturing a moment in an intense emotional experience. The prose is lyrical and a little gauche, mirroring Flannery's youth and her enthusiasm for literature--she is a poet in the making, and her heartfelt narration of her own story reflects that. If Desdemona loved Othello partly for his stories, than Flannery loves Anne partly for the content of her bookshelves. The novel is lush with sensation and impression; a recognition of the physical passion that the two women share:
If doubt had smouldered in Anne at first, the sex extinguished it ... Her questions were silenced by their pleasure calls, and the smoothness and the fluidity of their limbs together calmed her.
The novel is intimate and romantic, vivid as the "passionate hot fall of the autumn leaves with their brilliant reds, yellows and golds". --Eithne Farry
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'Like Turgenev or Katherine Mansfield, Sylvia Brownrigg understands that the inexperienced lover is a detective who doesn't know which clues matter... mesmerising' Helen Dunmore, The Times 'Exuberant and wistful' Times Literary Supplement 'A candid, fresh and vivid novel' The Sunday Telegraph