One winter a strange, formidable wind blows into the bedrooms of Stellar Plains, New Jersey, and most particularly, into the hearts and loins of Dory and Robby Lang - the easy-going and popular high school teachers at Eleanor Roosevelt High school - whose comfortable lives are suddenly thrown into confusion when Dory finds herself inexplicably ...Read MoreOne winter a strange, formidable wind blows into the bedrooms of Stellar Plains, New Jersey, and most particularly, into the hearts and loins of Dory and Robby Lang - the easy-going and popular high school teachers at Eleanor Roosevelt High school - whose comfortable lives are suddenly thrown into confusion when Dory finds herself inexplicably repelled by her husband's touch. Back at school, in a curious case of life imitating art, the mysterious new drama teacher Fran Heller chooses as the end-of-term play Aristophanes' comedy "Lysistrata", in which women withhold sexual privileges from their menfolk as a way to end the interminable Peloponnesian War. All across town, a quiet battle starts to take place between the sexes as caresses go unreciprocated, relationships come to abrupt and unexpected ends and marital issues suddenly explode to the surface. Women across Stellar Plains continue to be claimed by the spell - from Bev Cutler, the overweight guidance counsellor who has 'let herself go', to Leanne Bannerjee, the sexy school psychologist who could have any man she wants - even the Langs' teenage daughter, Willa, is not left untouched - until everything comes to a climax on the first night of Lysistrata...Read Less
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Publishers Weekly, 2011-01-10 The latest from Wolitzer (The Ten Year Nap) is a plodding story with a killer hook: will the women of Stellar Plains, N.J., ever have sex again? After new high school drama teacher Fran Heller begins rehearsals for Lysistrata (in which the women of Greece refuse to have sex until the men end the Peloponnesian War), every girl and woman in the community is overcome by a "spell" that causes them to lose all desire for sex. No one is immune, not Dory Lang and her husband, Robby, the most popular English teachers at Eleanor Roosevelt High School; not Leanne Bannerjee, the beautiful school psychologist; or the overweight college counselor Bev Cutler, shackled to a callous hedge-fund manager husband. The Langs' teenaged daughter, Willa, who eventually lands the lead in the play, is also afflicted, wreaking havoc on her relationship with Fran's son, Eli. Despite the great premise and Wolitzer's confident prose, the story never really picks up any momentum, and the questions posed-about parenthood, sacrifice, expectations, and the viability of long-term relationships in the age of Twitter-are intriguing but lack wallop. (Apr.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
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