Archive for May 7, 2015

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Shelly and her husband Steve dabble in internet pornography and sex clubs. Their enjoyment reaches heights they never could have imagined, and yet they keep pushing the boundaries. Soon they’re involved in partner swapping and triads. Their journey of self-discovery takes them to some unexpected places, and they learn surprising new things about each other. Along the way three women come together and learn to support each other, amid deepening friendship and loyalty. Written in a style that is best described as Tom Perrotta meets Alison Espach, Swing Set shows from a woman’s point of view how free-ranging sexual experimentation can affect a relationship, and how a hobby can become an obsession in a thoroughly modern, internet-savvy world where sex is simply another haute appetite. (Amazon.com)

5 out of 5 Stars

I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book. The writing and editing are superb. The detail and description that the author brings to the story creates a feeling of reality that swept me away.

We are privy to all Shelly’s thoughts and feelings. Early in the story we learn that as a teenager she was afraid of sex due to a very religious and repressive mother, who even banned mirrors in the house to prevent vanity. When she met her husband her level of sexual experience was very limited. Steve was patient and with a therapist’s help Shelly was able to overcome her fears. They had a very satisfying sex life for the first four years until boredom started to set in.

In Shelly’s description of Steve we learn that he rarely opened doors or pulled out chairs for her, Never did he ask her how she was feeling. He resented her leaving a stressful, but high paying analyst position for a magazine job. He criticized her in front of their friends, grumbles when she buys clothes. Steve is obsessed about his mother. Shelly’ grandfather was German. Steve’s Russian born grandfather had been beaten to death by Nazis after weeks of torture at a slave labor camp. Even though Shelly has converted to Judaism  she will never be accepted by Steve’s Jewish family.

Joanna Kadish gives a vivid and very believable description of the internet porn sites, the sex clubs and the partner swapping. Will this couple who seem so ill-suited to each other find sexual happiness? You will enjoy reading about their journey of exploration in Swing Set.

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New Amazon Review

Posted: May 7, 2015 in Prose
4.0 out of 5 stars A sympathetic ear and human compassion goes a long why when you gotta find a home, May 6, 2015
Verified Purchase(What’s this?)
Dennis Cardiff is a man of a certain age who is, perhaps going though some sort of midlife crisis. He goes to work everyday and encounters the homeless on the streets of Ottawa, Canada. He stops to talk to them, provides them with food and bus passes, and begins to hear their stories. Through his encounters, he becomes aware and has a purpose to document the stories many homeless persons live through. “Gotta find a home” is a book written out of sincerity and compassion for the people he considers his friends.

The one who Mr. Cardiff encounters the most is Joy, a middle-age alcoholic who supplements her governmental money by panhandling. Joy struggles to find a permanent home, and she goes from place to place just to lay her head. She also has a myriad of health concerns brought on by her lifestyle and homelessness. Throughout their conversations Joy reveals she has five sons, used to be married, and owned her home, until her crack addiction took over. Unfortunately many of the people Mr. Cardiff meets share similar stories.

The cast of characters Mr. Cardiff encounters are numerous. There’s Little Jake, a man with full-blown AIDS who has frequent run-ins with the law. There’s Shakes, a man everyone worries is on his last leg. Most notable is Nick, a man who makes sandwiches for the homeless and is struggling himself. Most of the people Mr. Cardiff meets have histories of abuse, addiction, and mental illness. Many have places to live, but are still drawn to streets as they struggle with integrating after long-term homelessness.

“Gotta find a home” shows how humanity means all the difference when it comes to getting the homeless to open up about their struggles. Mr. Cardiff does not condescend or shame, nor does he expect nothing in return for his help. He is an ordinary man who wants to help a population that many ignore or are apathetic to.