Small Acts of Sex and Electricity by Lise Haines

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Beauty and privilege, a charming, handsome husband and two promising young daughters, money, a beach house on the Pacific—Jane has everything that Mattie thinks she wants. But Jane always works to damage what she’s given. Mattie knows that better than anyone.

But even she is caught off-guard when Jane leaves her whole life behind one broken morning before dawn. And it will take Mattie awhile to see that, by driving away, Jane has forced open the questions that have always hung in the air between them—the ones that are hardest to answer—questions about desire and envy and integrity. These are the issues of the heart that reveal themselves, not through the bold and dramatic gestures of a woman like Jane, but in even the briefest moments and the smallest of acts.

With the same rich language and keen, compassionate eye that earned acclaim for her first novel, Lise Haines delves here into the forces that memory and touch raise in our lives and our most private hungers.

About Lise Haines

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Lise Haines is the Writer in Residence at Emerson College and served as the prestigious Briggs-Copeland Lecturer at Harvard. Her work has appeared in Ploughshares, Agni, PostRoad, Crosscurrents, and other journals. Haines received her MFA from Bennington College and a Creative Writing degree from Syracuse University. She has been a finalist in the PEN Nelson Algren Awards and for the Paterson Fiction Prize.
Published September 1, 2007 by Unbridled Books. 255 pages
Genres: Literature & Fiction. Fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for Small Acts of Sex and Electricity

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Presently in their mid-30s, the women essentially trade places over the course of several weeks, as Jane takes off to pick up men and have adventures, leaving Mattie to make sense of Franny's extensive estate of artworks, assuage the fears of Jane and Mike's two young daughters and fall in love w...

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Book Reporter

Jane, Mattie and Mike form a love triangle that has eroded Jane's marriage and driven her to give a daring gift in an attempt to break the strength of the triangle.

Jan 23 2011 | Read Full Review of Small Acts of Sex and Electri...


These scenes are meant to entice (“I closed my eyes and began to float,” Mattie narrates as Mike pulls down her undies), but much like the post-coital drivel, the sex fails to communicate real passion.

Sep 26 2006 | Read Full Review of Small Acts of Sex and Electri...

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