This novel is like watching (or the better word is IMAGINING) an X-rated Hollywood movie with a superb storyline. The book cover does suggest an erotic allure and it does contain a fair amount of the same, which seems not as much of tender and with a trace of sexual violence between the story’s main characters Shelby and Ty, because through this literature the writer essentially tries to mention how supressed negative emotions sprung reflexively during the very intimate moments.
Furthermore, this story talks of — the illness of Alzheimer, the excess care and support needed by its affected; how brutal childhood has a negative imprint on adult personality.
Shelby Monroe, an art teacher, is a part-time employee at Bishop Elementary school; who’d been in cold, slightly awkward affairs with men she wanted very little from, men there was never any fear would try to get more from her — meets Wyatt Svenson, his nickname Ty, a man with a tall and wide physique and a charming personality; through Casey – a eleven-year old, tall and gangly boy, Ty’s child from a former girlfriend …
There are many other characters in this story which gives the story a nice strength, by the end of this very beautifully story all the broken pieces of Shelby’s and Ty’s core personality is merged together because of their faith in each other and their willingness to try to chance the bad situation in order to move ahead in life.
The very lengthy erotic passages has some monotonous moments – otherwise from this, the narration captures the complexity of human emotions to the very core in a brilliant writing by Molly O’Keefe.
Few excerpts from this novel:
“Hey, Ms. Monroe,” Casey whispered, but before Shelby could say anything, Mom leaned over and shushed him.
Shelby gave him a wink and then tried very hard to pay attention to the church service.
“Tic-tac-toe?” he whispered. “Am I six?”
A laugh bubbled out of her and now her own mom was giving her the death stare. She composed herself and drew a hangman and the spaces for a ten-letter word.
“Hangman,” he whispered. “I like it.”
She pointed to a blank spot where he could write down his guesses and handed him the stubby pencil. Over the top of Casey’s bright head, Wyatt was watching her, and despite her years of experience ignoring things, she could ignore him for only so long. Almost as if her eyes were magnetized and he was true north, she could not help but look at him. (pp.118 -119)
“Mom, we need to talk.”
“About the factory? Because I know our numbers are down, but I‘ve made some changes to the—”
“It’s not about the factory.”
“I can’t lay anyone else off. We’re running on a skeleton crew.”
“Mom. We’re going to have to bring someone into our house. A nurse. To care for you.”
Mom was silent, and the tall weeds growing through the cracks in the asphalt and between the stones of the drive were laid nearly flat by the wind. Sturdy weeds levelled. (pp. 256 -257)
“We’ll go slow,” he told her. “For both of us.”
“Slow? We haven’t done anything slow.”
“We’ll start with dinner. Sunday night, my house. I’ll cook.”
“You can cook?”
“See all the things we don’t know about each other?”
She smiled at his joke and he felt the engine of his heart kick over. This was happening. It was really happening.
“What about Casey?”
“My son and I have kept enough secrets from each other, Shelby. If you and I are a thing, he’s got to know about it. If we’re in, we’re all in.”
She let go of the box only to cup his face in her hands. She pressed her lips on his, softly. Sweetly. She tasted of coffee and toothpaste, and if faith had a flavour, it was there too. (pp. 298 – 299)
Author: Molly O’Keefe is also the author of several other novels – Wild Child, Crazy Thing Called Love, Can’t Buy Me Love, and Can’t Hurry Love.
Amazon link: Between the Sheets (The Boys of Bishop)