The Yearning by Kate Belle
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Source: print copy courtesy of publisher
More than anything else, this was a cover crush for me. The teacher student encounter turned me off somewhat though I cannot but profess an undying curiosity as to what happened 20 years later. Nothing, I don’t think, can really prepare me for my venture into The Yearning.
The story began in the 70s and I could not help but laugh at the fashionable Solomon Andrews (sorry, 80s kid here – never got to live nor appreciate the 70s in its heyday). I cringed; I rolled my eyes; I snorted at the gushing over Solomon and, especially, his wear…
Darker and less burly than the rest, he was cool in tight flares and a smiley face T-shirt. It was a little too short for his waist and she smiled secretly at the smoothness of his belly…
A man strode in, his ponytail swinging in time with his hips. The clunk of his platform shoes drew all eyes to him. A gold medallion nested in a puff of chest hair rising from the open neck of his paisley body shirt, and his pants hugged his buttocks, leaving nothing to the imagination.
Oh, it was a terrific and promising beginning; I was hooked line and sinker! The first half of the book was practically put me in a daze, a sensual one. This is another thing, I don’t read much erotica so I was feeling a bit unbalanced by this tone. Despite this uncomfortable feeling (I was also reading on the train on the commute to work so imagine me cracking the book open only halfway so no one else can read over me!), I found this young girl’s sensual awakening to be an enjoyable read. Mostly because it made me remember some of the awkwardness of that age.
Then we jump years in time and life was somewhat normal… which was a little disappointing if not realistic. Her struggles are my struggles; struggles all women could identify with. And I wonder, how many of us made the following choice; it sounds really sad, at first, but so very sensible!
’I know what it is to have love, and I know what it is to lose it.’
She lay motionless, listening intently to what sounded like honesty.
‘I also know that not everything is about happy ever after. Sometimes we have to choose what’s best over what we think we want.’
In the end, however, it wasn’t about love. It wasn’t about sex. It wasn’t about relationship. This is about an affirmation of self; affirmation of women’s independence. I’m not talking about not needing men at all but rather the ability to identify oneself without having to refer to a nearby male and to be happy and functional with that identity. To me, The Yearning is an empowering novel which reminds us all that the power to be happy lies within us all and not dependent on anyone else.
Thank you, Simon & Schuster Australia for copy of book via The Reading Room
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