It started out fairly well but then I realized that it was written from a woman’s perspective. As a male I could not connect with it.
Apparently it was only when this fellow “realized” that Bernardine Bishop’s Unexpected Lessons in Love was written from a female perspective — <hint, hint> it opens in a nunnery, is written by a female author, and features a cat and a child’s toy on the cover — that he suddenly “could not connect” to it!
Bishop had written 2 novels in the early sixties, but abandoned writing to bring up a family, teach and practice as a psychotherapist. For her final book, she was able to draw on her lifetime’s worth of experiences, which is evident as the central character is also a retired psychotherapist coping with anal cancer and a colostomy.
Bishop, who died this past July at age 73, made her mark as a novelist posthumously with the publication of Unexpected Lessons in Love, which was recently nominated for the Costas prize. The Costas is given both for high literary merit but also for works that are enjoyable reading and whose aim is to convey the enjoyment of reading to the widest possible audience.
You can read the first chapter of the book here.