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All things maudlin

books Updated: May 21, 2012 15:13 IST
Sanchita Guha
Sanchita Guha
Hindustan Times
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Title: Lessons in Heartbreak
By Cathy Kelly
Publisher: Harper
Price: Rs 250

The book begins in modern-day Mills & Boon fashion, but then reveals itself to be about 100 pages too long and far too wrapped up in the pathos of infidelity — that’s the common thread in the lives of three women, of three generations. Izzie Silver is a statuesque model booker in love with a handsome married man. Izzie is also facing an early onset of mid-life crisis — she is a year short of forty and single.

Under her glamorous exterior, there is a bubbling pool of insecurity. Kelly makes it sound like the ultimate compliment when her lover-to-be tells her at their first meeting: “You don’t look forty.”

If she did, should she have slashed her wrists? And what is forty supposed to look like, anyway? Anyhow, after a lot of pain and soul-searching, Izzie asks her lover to walk away. Meanwhile, the reader has been introduced to her aunt Annelise (had unfaithful husband) and grandmother Lily (loved a married man). All of which put together means a big investment of time better made elsewhere — unless you have a liking for all things maudlin.