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Her Body Knows: Two Novellas    by David Gross order for
Her Body Knows
by David Gross
Order:  USA  Can
Picador, 2006 (2006)
* *   Reviewed by Mary Ann Smyth

Her Body Knows is actually two novellas rather than a novel. It's written by an author with great sympathy and understanding for human emotions as well as human quirks.

In the first novella, Frenzy, Shaul spends the time during a long drive relating the story of his wife's ten-year long adulterous affair to his sister-in-law Esti. Shaul's wife doesn't realize that he knows and so continues her relationship with equanimity, sure that her infidelity goes undetected. It's an unsettling story full of self-recriminations rather than anger. Emotional energy keeps the tale flowing, but I kept wishing the two travelers would get to their destination a little more quickly. I was wrung out by the last page. Esti contemplates her own life and finds it wanting.

Her Body Knows is just as draining, as Rotem reads a book she has written to her long-estranged dying mother. The theme of the story is of the mother and her affair with a fifteen year-old boy - a strangely unsettling relationship that can ultimately lead nowhere. The mother listens to her daughter's words and, of course, recognizes her own story. Both women come to grips with life as it was and as it is but not without some soul-searching.

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