Adore – Doris Lessing – ( A story that cries out to be re-written by someone who cares)

adore

Adore is a small novella, just at seventy pages long, that is full of potential and delivers on none. The concept for the story would have made for a powerfully emotional novel or at the least an exciting short erotic/taboo story. But it is neither of these.

Adore follows two friends, Roz and Lil, as they marry, divorce and have sons. After their divorces they begin to have affairs with each others sons. They are all aware of it. They even carry on as if they were normal couples. The sons having taken the places of their friend’s fathers in the women’s lives. It begins while the boys are in high school and goes on until they are in late twenties and early thirties. Eventually it is the aging women who break it off. Not for any moral reason, but because they long for a family and grandchildren. The men marry younger women and it goes on until the day one of their wives uncovers the secret of the love affairs.

What fails and fails miserably should have been what made this book. The emotional drama from this situation should have carried this story and made it into something powerful and tragic. But as a reader it is difficult to invest yourself in a character emotionally when they have so little emotion of their own. The characters are wooden and way under developed much like the story itself is.

The writer won the nobel prize for literature but I cannot believe it was for this one. Terribly disappointed.

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