‘My Hundred Lovers’ by Susan Johnson – a full review

I probably wouldn’t have picked up My Hundred Lovers by Susan Johnson in a bookshop – the coy pose of the woman on the cover combined with the title suggests a story heading in a direction that’s not my thing. However, the testimonial by Geraldine Brooks on the cover was enough to make me rethink my assumptions and I’m glad I did.

I read My Hundred Lovers as part of a read-a-long hosted by 1 Girl 2 Many Books.  It was my first read along – I liked the format and I’ll look forward to participating in more. Needless to say, the dozens of book bloggers that took part in the read-a-long have dissected the book into a million pieces – you can see all the comments over at 1 Girl 2 Many Books.

First up, the story is not about a hundred people the main character has slept with. If you’re expecting a raunchy bit of ‘mummy-porn’, I suggest you stick to Fifty Shades. Instead, My Hundred Lovers is about one hundred things that the main character (who is alternately referred to as ‘the girl’, Deb and the ‘Suspicious Wanderer’) loves or has loved. There are people mentioned – Deb may be considered promiscuous by some – but the ‘lovers’ also include sunshine, cheese, going to the hairdresser, new pencils, Paris and more. It is  these chapters where Johnson’s exquisite descriptions and sharp observations really shine. Continue reading