Phoebe Henderson is in her thirties and unfortunately back in the game. After having her heart ripped out and stomped on by cheating scumbag Alex, she’s thrown into the deep end having forgotten how to swim; if she ever really knew how. After a year of mourning-whining she hits upon an innovative and completely doable New Year’s resolution. No doomed to failure gym memberships, diets etc…Phoebe decides to make a list of all the things she wants to do sexually but never has for whatever reason. Becoming sexually liberated and inhibition free will rid her of doormat Phoebe and by extension her desire for cheating Alex. Ingenious, she can kill two birds with one stone. Now she just has to find a willing partner. After rejecting several she comes to the last fella she’d consider, Oliver, her best friend.
Can they tick off THE LIST and maintain their friendship without things becoming weird? You’ll have to read THE LIST and discover that for yourself.
Each chapter in THE LIST encompasses a month and is segmented with dated headings that make, surprisingly, for a smoothly flowing read. This style also simplifies tracking Phoebe’s progress, clever. Think Bridget Jones but earthier and without the cutesy factor. Phoebe and her friends are solidly based in reality.
Let’s meet Phoebe’s core group of friends, her support system. Like the song says, Phoebe gets by with a little help from her friends.
Oliver ~ Phoebe’s BFF since high school (or the equivalent of). Irish and handsome as sin with an acerbic wit; Oliver is always there for Phoebe with a healthy dose of much needed brutal honesty.
Lucy ~ attracts men like bees to honey. Lucy represents the wilder side and not much is too out there.
Hazel ~ Happily married to paragon Kevin with recent addition, adorable baby Grace. Hazel represents the more mature and settled voice in Phoebe’s life.
Keeping one foot firmly planted in humor, Ms. Bolouri’s able to lightly touch on serious topics without Phoebe and friends becoming mired in endless recrimination or boring reflection and introspection. The sex is by turn touching, without being cloying, and sensual. Truth via humor is infinitely more palatable and a heck of a lot more entertaining.
I’ll leave you with a couple of my favorite snippets from the beginning of Phoebe’s year of sexual discovery and living dangerously…..
“Ah yes. In a sea of six-packs I chose to fall in love with the fat fella on the treadmill. His stamina was incredible. Still is.” She grinned. (Hazel)
“Doubtful.” He laughed. “I pity the poor chap who’s going to have to endure this. Who’s your new fella then?”
I looked back at him and smiled.
He smiled back and raised his glass to his mouth. Two seconds later the penny had dropped. He put his pint down, never taking his eyes off me. “Wait. You want me to help you?” (Oliver)
I’m trying to be discerning in my choices, but it’s tricky. The majority of profiles are from people who obviously didn’t win any grammar competitions at school, and I can’t bear the thought of having to read sentences with badly placed apostrophes all glaring at me, just waiting to be corrected. (Phoebe)
Testosterone will always kick intellect’s a** when it comes down to it. (Phoebe)
THE LIST is an entertaining tale of liberation and self discovery. Kudos to Phoebe and crew for keeping it real, funny, and enjoyable from start to finish.