Tells the story of a young woman's sexual awakenings and the sweep of her emotional experience of love and sex, death and loss over a 30 year period. Set in the American South in the 1950s, New York in the 1960s and Paris of the 1970s, the novel weaves together the strands of Jude's life.
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From the bestselling author of KINFLICKS and OTHER WOMEN, a love story that challenges our notions of love, sex, and life itself. "On the horizon the Smokies formed a rolling blue rim notched with knobs like the knuckles on a fist. Down in the valley, the lazy ochre river drifted toward the mountains, carrying a leafy poplar branch on which perched five cawing crows. Wisps of cloud were floating across the summer sky, furling like breaking waves. Gradually, they assembled themselves into Molly's features, bits of cerulean blue becoming her irises. She said in her voice that had always been too husky for such a small person, 'You may think I'm dead, Jude, but I'm not.'" From Tennessee's sunlit Smoky Mountains, to New York City during the Stonewall era, and ultimately to Paris, FIVE MINUTES IN HEAVEN follows a young woman named Jude -- haunted by her dreams, ghosts, and longings -- on an epic search for love, intimacy, and answers to questions she cannot allow herself to forget. How can a childhood passion disappear in a puff of smoke...or a woman's beauty and intelligence mask her wounds and her capacity to betray? Is it possible to find a love that satisfies both the longings of the heart and the hungers of the flesh -- and are there unseen forces guiding Jude through it all? FIVE MINUTES IN HEAVEN takes up the histories of Molly, Jude' brave, indomitable childhood friend; Sandy, a gay man with a taste for danger; Anna, an infinitely desirable married woman; and Jasmine, a quintessentially elegant and enigmatic Parisienne. With Molly, Jude experiences the tumults of a childhood passion for a friend -- a love that proves more fragile than anyone might have suspected. In New York City as a graduate student, she discovers barriers to intimacy she has tried to ignore. Stung, she finds refuge in love for a woman. Jude's journey finally takes her to Paris, down the twisting corridors of her own psyche, and finally to a richer understanding of herself. Full of the wry wisdom, unconstrained humor, and passionate intensity that are the hallmarks of Lisa Alther's style -- and have brought her to bestseller lists around the world -- this powerfully sensual and profoundly moving novel is Lisa Alther's most sophisticated and spellbinding yet.From the Back Cover:
In Praise of Lisa AltherOn FIVE MINUTES IN HEAVEN"The best thing I've read on cultural sexual difference -- and on cultural difference in general -- in years...She's got it perfectly!"-- Lesley Hazelton, author of Confessions of a Fast Woman"Nobody can do a personal-quest novel like Lisa Alther. Her new heroine is so consistently likable and interesting that I found myself wishing she would turn up on my doorstep."-- Florence King, author of Confessions of a Failed Southern Lady"The promise of Lisa Alther's first novel, KINFLICKS, is fulfilled in her fifth, FIVE MINUTES IN HEAVEN, which explores the complexities of lesbianism with an extraordinary sexual and emotional maturity. At the end, I felt like shouting hurrah."--Blanche McCrary Boyd"I love Lisa Alther!"--Dorothy Allison, author of Bastard Out of CarolinaOn KINFLICKS"A strong, salty, original talent." -- Doris Lessing"Alther dazzles with her range from the human and tragic to the erotic and comic...She is the kind of writer you want to hear from again." -- Joan CrawfordOn ORIGINAL SINS"Alther has hooked us with sheer good writing...a sharp eye for detail...an acute ear...and a delightful talent for confronting human idiocy." -- Susan Isaacs, NewsdayOn OTHER WOMEN"Her genius as a novelist is her ability to capture and juxtapose the odd combinations of personality, gender, class, culture, family life and chance that shape human destinies...An important and satisfying novel about the human psyche." -- Jane Futcher, San Francisco ChronicleOn BEDROCK"Lisa Alther writes with a profound acceptance of human variety and vagary that is rare in this mean age, and that lifts the spirits." -- Marilyn French
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Book Description Penguin Books Ltd, 1996. Paperback. Book Condition: New. book. Bookseller Inventory # 0140244514