I have managed to read a book for my A-Z Book Challenge. This one is Cleanskin by Gay Lynch and borrowed from the Bairnsdale library. I might add that I borrowed the book about six weeks ago and had to renew it online as I hadn’t read it when it was due back. It is due back at the library today and I finished the book last night.
From the back cover:
Five women share their lives at a playgroup, desperate for the company of adults. Madelaine looks forward to the meetings, but they put her on edge. Amaretto biscuits, designer clothes, unwelcome advice – nothing seems to fit. Her relationships are forcing her out of control.
When one of the group begins an illicit affair, everyone gets caught in the deadly crossfire.
“This novel gives us the raw and unflinching face of domestic life as powerfully as it gives us the threshold of chaos. Lynch is a fresh voice, deft and surprising.” (Eva Sallis)
The novel is set in Australia in the town of Port Lincoln and the main character is Madelaine, who at the outset appears to be a victim but as the story progresses we find that she is not what she appears to be. Madeleine videotapes much of the action of the playgroup characters. All the characters in the playgroup have some weakness and the story changes dramatically when Madeleine’s husband decides he has had enough.
The story involves a great deal of mental anguish for several of the characters and mental instability is a key player in this novel.
After finishing the book I went back to look at the quotation at the beginning of the novel.
“It is in point of fact, a difficult matter for men to realise the extreme importance of social discrimination which seems outwardly insignificant but which produces in women moral and intellectual effects so profound that they appear to spring from her original nature.”
Simone de Beauvoir – The Second Sex
It was a book that was well worth the read.