A Woman Run Mad. John L’Heureux.

L’Heureux, John. A Woman Run Mad. Grove, New York. 1988. Kindle digital version. F;6/16.

It’s been awhile since I read this book and I didn’t make many notes. I remember the overall impression as being … blandly strange, I guess. I tracked down the author and find he is an elderly man now (although not so much so in 1988) with a Jesuit background. Here he rolls sex, religion, marriage, and artistic creativity into a combination whodunit-romantic story with a quirky ending. Major secondary themes were escape from social imprisonment (marriage) and occult surveillance. The latter in the person of an eccentric troll-like boy living in the main couple’s apartment building.

There was something impressive about the fantasy of our main male character (however irresponsible, silly, and unrealistic) ogling a very pretty woman in a ladies’ store only to find that she has smoothly shoplifted a purse he had his eye on for his wife. The complex wealthy and unconventional family the girl lives in was interesting too, pretty well everybody in it (and everyone else) ending up behaving badly by the standards of the time this book was written. I couldn’t stop imagining, no doubt unfairly, the author fancying himself liberated from his straightlaced background by tolerating as though he’s beyond silly moral rules homosexuality, petty theft, soft drugs, and marital infidelity.

Middling, really. It held my interest through to the end but not to the extent that I was excited much by the ultimate plot twists. There is so much really enthralling fiction around that precious time spent on a tale like like this feels like waiting in line for something necessary but not all that much fun. 7/6.7.

About John Sloan

John Sloan is a senior academic physician in the Department of Family Practice at the University of British Columbia, and has spent most of his 30 years' practice caring for the frail elderly in Vancouver. He is the author of "A Bitter Pill: How the Medical System is Failing the Elderly", published in 2009 by Greystone Books. His innovative primary care practice for the frail elderly has been adopted by Vancouver Coastal Health and is expanding. Dr. Sloan lectures throughout North America on care of the elderly.
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