Rishelle Vinson's Reviews > Lust and Other Stories

Lust and Other Stories by Susan Minot
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's review
Feb 01, 2011

it was amazing
Read from February 01 to 04, 2011

Lust and Other Stories by Susan Minot published by Vintage Books in New York in 1989 is fiction book of short stories about experiences with men told from a woman narrative’s perspective. This book provides insight into the mind of a woman who is not only a victim men who are emotionally unavailable but a victim of putting herself in a cycle of loveless relationships. In “The Man Who Would Not Go Away”: “...the first feeling of love is always serene, and happy. It rejoices. Life has purpose after all. I kept it to myself, knowing it was in fact what he was running quickly from.”
She elegantly moves from memory to memory with ease and clarity. Although written in prose Minot puts the reader in dream-like state as they read the poetic-like accounts of the narrator’s misguided heart.
Minot starts off with a short story called, “Lust” where the narrator dedicates a couple sentences each to all of the guys she’s slept with in her life. As one reads this they will realize it is not an account of her sexual conquests; something she is proud of. “Then you start to get tired. You begin to feel diluted, like watered-down stew.” She chooses to go for guys who don’t care about her and does not respect them as a result.
Minot uses descriptions of the surroundings in all of her short stories to express the mood and feelings of her characters. “The Feather in the Toque” is set in a large house after a couple wakes up. She describes the grey sky and the low clouds; the bedroom being the same color of the sky. The room was tranquil and the house was obscure. And within all this calm and grey she introduces a little bird that gets into the house. The woman is concerned about it yet the man is not at all. After seeing the bird, by the time the woman gets into her bath the water is not even warm anymore. All of these descriptions develop subtext in her stories to create a thick and ornate read.
In “The Man Who Would Not Go Away” it says, “But it’s different for a woman!” It also says in “Lust”, “The more girls a boy has, the better. He has a bright look, having reaped fruits, blooming. He stalks around, sure shouldered, and you’ve got the feeling he’s got more in him, a fatter heart, more stories to tell. For a girl, with each boy it’s as though a petal gets plucked each time.”
If most women tried going around sleeping with as many men as possible they would feel empty inside. Women need to be careful of there bodies and their mental well-being. The foundation of societies are held up by women. Most men will only marry women who respect themselves. But if they know they don’t want to get married to a woman they will still sleep with them if a woman lets them. This book reaches out to women to help them understand what can happen to women if they let men use them.
Susan Minot is a precise and poetic prose writer who pulls the reader toward the heart of her stories. Her use of the characters’ surroundings to set off the mood of the story will entice the reader to put themselves in the room and in the head of the character of her choosing. “Lust and Other Stories” is an emotional and realistic account of how women with a lack of knowing her self worth deal with trying to find love.

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