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Four of Hearts
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Love-and-sex is a theme with such unplumbable depths that every author is allowed to have his or her turn at the plate. My "kick at the cat," so to speak, involves this theme as seen through and as lived by a quartet of persons. The first novella, Virgin Territory, is about of a girl, Mui Yee Ng, a second-generation Chinese Canadian in third year social work at York University. She ends up stranded in a blizzard at a rural bed and breakfast with a charming teaching assistant. She decides to have her first-ever sexual encounter with this man, but her body rebels. The second novella, Patsy's Revenge, is about a woman, a graduate student in political science who is financing her education by working for an "escort" service. She is furious when she falls for a "client" who treats her badly, and she flies from Toronto to Timmins to get revenge. The third novella, called Inventing Raymond, is about a teenaged boy, the most complete "loser" in Timmins. He tries to commit suicide, only to fail at that as well. A candy striper at Toronto's Mount Sinai Hospital helps him smarten up and get his act together. The fourth novella, The Blind Reporter, is about an abrasive reporter who travels all over North America with his camera crew, holding confrontational "interviews" on street corners for a prime-time reality TV show. He falls for a woman who accuses him of faking his disability. How the four novellas are connected is best discovered by reading the entire book.
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