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The Handkerchief: An Intimate Love Story Julian Stark

The Handkerchief: An Intimate Love Story

Julian Stark

Published
ISBN : 9781439214923
Paperback
684 pages
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 About the Book 

It is October 1955. An exquisitely beautiful young woman, Angie flies from Hobart to board the Dominion Monarch in Melbourne and sail via the Cape to Southampton. She will rejoin her husband Jeremy from whom she has been separated for four longMoreIt is October 1955. An exquisitely beautiful young woman, Angie flies from Hobart to board the Dominion Monarch in Melbourne and sail via the Cape to Southampton. She will rejoin her husband Jeremy from whom she has been separated for four long months after five years of happy - and passionate - marriage. Starved so long of romance, Angie sees the five-week ocean voyage as a rare opportunity for emotional adventure. A sordid affair between Melbourne and Cape Town leaves her unfulfilled- but, after Cape Town she is attracted to an older, wealthy and distinguished South-African tycoon. He lusts after her as she does after him- but he proves to be a violent and deviant lover. When she wants no more, he blackmails and serially rapes her. She has no one she can turn to- but writes to a trusted friend. Only when nearing Southampton, the ships captain Richard intervenes to protect her - and is seduced by her. She enjoys other liaisons with youngster Andrew and Deputy Purser John. Passionately reunited with Jeremy in London, she confesses nothing. They drive, as lovers, to their new home in Bonn where, by chance, Jeremy becomes aware of a handkerchief which he takes to be incontrovertible evidence of her infidelity. After a period of emotional turmoil, they resume a qualified relationship until, by chance, Jeremy gets to know something of what has happened and, knowing nothing of her more culpable behaviour, is contrite. He arranges a passionate second-honeymoon tour by car through central Europe. Hoping for a child, they try hard to make their dream of parenthood come true. On return to Bonn, she seeks confirmation that she is pregnant. An astonishing series of events then unfolds. In a dramatic end to the story, it looks as though her marriage to the man she loves may be secure, their baby - whose paternity is unquestioned - may be on the way and even her financial independence may be assured. If this were indeed to prove to be the happy outcome, it would contrast with all she feared during her terrifying experiences, largely of her own making, aboard the Dominion Monarch. This is a mature work of fiction, in which the authors style is characteristically uninhibited and he employs direct, explicit language with no holds barred. His main characters, especially Angie and Jeremy, have a naturalness that lends authenticity to their own portrayal and to the story more generally. Their ravenous sexuality is allied with an often charming, almost virginal boy-and-girl innocence. That is part of the reality we know so often in our own lives. Consequently, Angie and Jeremy are not strangers to us, living in an alien world. On the contrary, they belong in our own close coterie. They are to be counted among our own friends, neighbors and family members who have lived through the same kinds of romantic and sexual vicissitudes and experienced the same kinds of exquisite pleasure and deep pain that Angie and Jeremy have known in their passionate years together.