A passionate love memoir

2010-12-29 00:00

THE Au Pair is a memoir about a woman who needs help with her family when her eyesight deteriorates because of macular degeneration. Michele Macfarlane has three children and has been in a happy marriage with her husband Peter for many years until she employs an au pair, 14 years her junior. The au pair, Marizette, is openly gay, and Michele is drawn to the younger woman. Macfarlane is attracted to Marizette’s beauty and soon even her best friends are talking about her crush on the au pair.

When she goes out to a gay bar with Marizette and her friends, the situation follows to its inevitable conclusion. They end up in bed together and Macfarlane cannot believe how good the sex is with a woman.

She can’t go back to her husband, especially as she has always felt slightly uncomfortable during hetero-sex after being sexually abused as a child. Her family didn’t acknowledge the abuse at the time and Macfarlane has tried to deal with the consequences of the betrayal by a male with the help of a therapist.

It is no surprise that her marriage breaks up and her husband feels deeply betrayed. Their separation is messy and the children turn on their mother at first. Life gets easier when Peter finds his own new relationship and Marizette moves in to live with Macfarlane. When Marizette proposes to Macfarlane. Marizette’s staunch Afrikaans family can’t make peace with her lesbianism and even Macfarlane’s formerly supportive parents are upset. The usual trials of a relationship such as insecurity, jealousy and familial conflict are heightened by the fact that theirs is a same-sex relationship.

This memoir is about the triumph of love over adversity. One proviso, however: there are many graphic sex scenes so don’t read this book if these are not to your taste.

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