Here’s the perfect recipe for mischief: Take one sexually neglected woman and one dashing, romantic foreigner (with a delectable accent). Add a craving for adventure plus a few drops of heady desire . . . then stand back, because in Olivia Lichtenstein’s sparkling and sharply observed comedy of lust, longing, and marital unrest, this mix proves to be deliciously volatile.
Chloe Zhivago has it all: a successful career, two teenage children who still speak to her, a faithful best buddy, a Famous Friend from hell (so decadently self-indulgent that one can’t help but admire her and hate her at the same time), and Greg, her husband of seventeen years, a family-practice doctor who has the annoying habit of hiding the teakettle (to keep his memory sharp) and who occupies his time writing letters to the parking commission.
And then it suddenly hits her. Is this all there is? When did wild weekends of passion become nights of chaste kisses and snoring to wake the dead? Will she ever savor sweet whispers of desire, or knowing glances filled with longing? What happens when the kids leave the nest but the husband stays behind?
Enter Ivan. Married but questing and quixotic, he proffers notes of seduction written in Russian (necessitating awkward pleas for translation from a nearby shopkeeper) and lures Chloe to the precipice of one glorious, fortuitous fling. Does she dare?
This wonderfully funny, sexy novel asks a vital question–how do you keep love alive in a marriage?–and answers it with poignancy and pure irresistible comedy.
From the Hardcover edition.
About Olivia Lichtenstein
Olivia Lichtenstein is an award-winning documentary filmmaker who had a distinguished career at BBC Television before becoming a freelance documentary and drama producer/director and journalist. She lives in unalloyed bliss with her husband–who does not hide everyday objects in obscure places–and their two children in West London.
Chloe Zhivago's Recipe for Marriage and Mischief by Olivia Lichtenstein