Cover image for The sex life of my aunt
The sex life of my aunt
Cheek, Mavis.
Personal Author:
First U.S. edition.
Publication Information:
New York : St. Martin's Griffin, 2002.
Physical Description:
282 pages ; 22 cm
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Lovely home, lovely husband, lovely family: apart from the envy of her less content sister, everything in Dilys's rags-to-riches life is lovely, lovely, lovely. Until the day she meets a man at a railway station who is also--lovely.

As Dilys hurtles toward her destruction-- her liberation--she discovers that deceit is in the blueprint of our birth, that ancient aunts have their own dark secrets, that envious sisters have their reasons, and that when brief encounters meet basic instincts, the right choice, like truth, is rarely pure and never simple.

Author Notes

Mavis Cheek is the author of eight previous novels. She lives in London with her daughter.

Reviews 2

Booklist Review

After surviving a Dickensian childhood, 19-year-old Dilys meets and marries Prince Charming, aka Francis, a slightly older, wealthy lawyer. Except for her jealous older sister's difficult behavior, Dilys and Francis have an ideal life for more than 20 years. Then, on the night of her best friend's funeral, Dilys meets and falls in love with Matthew, a slightly younger, poor activist. Their affair disrupts Dilys' orderly life. An encounter with an aging relative (the aunt of the title) shows Dilys that secrets and deceit are part of her family history. After confronting her past, Dilys is able to make peace with her sister and a decision about her romantic future. Except for her sister, every character in the book is more likable than the vague, snotty, and selfish Dilys. The reader longs for the honorable Matthew and Francis to find each other and ditch Dilys. While ultimately frustrating, it is also a fun read filled with enough literary allusions and Briticisms to convince yourself that it's more than a romance novel. --Marta Segal Block

Publisher's Weekly Review

Hunky younger lover or rich, supportive husband? That's the dilemma for Dilys Holmes, a 50-ish grandma finally indulging her long-suppressed wild streak in British novelist Cheek' s droll confection (following Mrs. Fytton's Country Life). Sobbing in a train station after the funeral of her best friend, Dilys comes down with a mad crush on scruffy, blue-eyed Matthew Todd, a sympathetic soul "at least ten years" her junior who lends her his shoulder. Compared with her husband, Francis, a successful lawyer and devoted mate for 30 years (with only one much-lamented lapse), Matthew seems little more than "a bit of fresh trouser." But he is passionate, attentive, and spontaneous, making adultery "as inevitable as a sneeze after pepper-and just as uncontrollable." Unwilling to abandon her marriage just yet, Dilys weaves an ever-expanding web of deceit, which includes "visits" to an elderly aunt who one day actually resurfaces to teach Dilys about the family's long history of adulterous shenanigans. Cheek muddles the tone of this farce by turning Matthew into a cold-eyed stalker whose creepy mood-shifts Dilys inexplicably finds endearing. Nevertheless, readers will continue turning the pages to keep company with Dilys, a consistently charming and diverting (if sometimes obtuse) confidante. (Nov. 1) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved