The Love Market

The Love Market

By Carol Mason

McArthur & Company

Unlike the current hip and glib and surely unsustainable perusal of high-octane media studies – wherein a veritable barrage of the young and (preferably) beautiful embark upon such solipsistic career paths as self-absorption ad celebrity infinitum – were romantic novel writing to be a tad more cathedral in approach, a tiny modicum of melioristic thought, might, somewhere along the line, be allowed to truly prevail.

As is, a plethora of literary romance continues to run amok amid a quintessential slipstream of lust, triggered utopia; wherein assorted petals of both impossibility and implausibility continue to reign supreme beneath the darkness of the duvet. Or should that read the duvet of the darkness? Either way, it’s pain, pathos and the pre-ordained complexity of denial, or cash, candour and the much sought after, liberal sprinkling of sparkling Darcy dust (to go bro).

So roll over Marriage Guidance Counselling and tell cunnilingus the news.

Even if chick lit isn’t the be all and the literary end all, its prognosis has oft been known to bequeath consolation for those in need of a little tenderness. And by way of forensic, fideistic observation, Carol Mason has once again succeeded in bequeathing just that.

By way of the ‘’politics of disenchantment,’’ The Love Market follows the trials and sticky tribulations of protagonist Celine Lewis; who, having already gazed into her deep dark truthful mirror by the time we have even reached the end of chapter one (‘’the weights and measures of a marriage; we know things but we choose not to think about them’’), cums exceedingly clean with both herself, her family and her prospective dream lover, Patrick.

Written with as much familiarity that our own soaring acknowledgement will allow, Mason touches on a menagerie of issues throughout the novel. Among them, the inevitable and anguish induced, trying familial bones of contention, which we are all at some time or another, compelled to deal with in our lives.

In Chapter Two for instance, the authoress wrestles with the complexity of simmering guilt regarding Celine’s awkward, and not particularly tactile relationship with her father: ‘’Sometimes it’s hard to forget, and difficult to forgive, but time has a way of ensuring you become bored with your own battle […], and there comes a time in all our lives when we have to start making amends before we exit this life with one too many regrets on our conscience.’’

Having transformed an otherwise hopeless and somewhat linear tale of marital woe into a concord of regal possibility, Carol Mason has hit upon a number of nerves simultaneously. In and of itself, this may partially explain why The Love Market – which is already a really cool title – could just as easily have been called what Mason refers to as ‘’The Slow Unbeguiling.’’

A candid, classy and contagious read.

David Marx


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