Getting older is not easy. We watch our parents lose their health and their independence. We watch our children become adults and have children of their own. We watch our own bodies change shape and become saggy. And if you are a woman of a certain age, you are put aside for a twenty year old.
Erica Jong’s latest novel, Fear Of Dying, is about this part our lives. Vanessa Wonderman is an actress whose best professional years are behind her. Her parents teeter on the brink of death. Her daughter is halfway through her first pregnancy. Her husband, Asher, who is some years her senior is experiencing health problems of his own.
Needing to feel like a sexual being again, Vanessa joins zipless.com, a website that matches married people with other married people for no strings attached get togethers. Could this website be inspired by her best friend, Isadora Wing, known for writing novels that some people might call salacious? Can Vanessa find a way to disperse this restless energy via meaningless sex with strangers or will she find another way to release it?
For fans of her previous work, this novel is a signature Erica Jong book. The frank sexuality, the questions about feminism, the issues with family, etc. As with any writer, Jong includes pieces of her own life in the novel. And for fans of her most famous novel, Fear Of Flying, including Isadora Wing in the cast of characters bring the story full circle.
I absolutely recommend this book.