SEX, A LOVE STORY
Literary & General
Jerome Gold is the author of novels, memoirs, and poetry. He has published in Boston Review, Chiron review, Left Bank, Flash Fiction, and other journals and magazines.
Set in Orange County, California, at the end of the Eisenhower administration and the beginning of the Kennedy era "Sex, A Love Story" is a coming-of-age novel about a boy and a girl, seniors in high school, who use sex as a way of encountering the world after high school and establishing their individual identities.
Bob and Jen are the children of parents who entered the middle class after World War II. Life for these kids has not reached the level of affluence the professional class knows. It is often boring.
Anticipating life after high school, kids are concerned with finding work or going to college or into the military. Much of the sex is erotic. If, for Bob and Jen, sex is at first a way of exploring the adult world, it soon becomes a way to defy the world. But the world intrudes. Bob worries about money, the recession, finding and holding a job.
While sex with Jen and his growing love for her are immeasurably important to Bob, so is his desire to write and travel, "to learn how the world works." Jen and that imagined life are rivals, but Bob wants both.
Jen doesn't see herself as a rival to Bob's future, but as a part of it. Even more than Bob does, she sees herself as a sexual being.
Both characters grow increasingly complex as they gain experience of the world. While their relationship ends, or appears to end, each of them moving toward a different way of living in the world, we can say, ultimately, not that love conquers all, but that it endures, whether or not we will it, despite the world and despite ourselves.
"A fine saga not just about a sexual relationship or love, as the title suggests, but about new adults who field sex, the future, a breakup, new beginnings, and full circles of return and connection. It's a warm story that will engage any reader interested in how relationships grow, change, and eventually...embrace the possibilities of the world." —D. Donovan, Midwest Book Review "Maturing in an era of social upheaval and cultural unrest, there is something tempting about abandoning reality for the thrill of instant gratification. For many millennials and fellow Gen Z’ers, 2020 has been incredibly befuddling to navigate, what without perceptions on life, understanding of society, and faith in supposedly trusted authority figures changing from day to day." —Cai...