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The Scent of Your Breathby Melissa Parente
Synopses & Reviews
Melissa P.Us fictionalized memoir, "100 Strokes of the Brush Before Bed, "became an international literary phenomenon, selling over two million copies worldwide and inspiring profiles in "Vanity Fair" and "The New York Times." The second installment in her series of confessions, is a tale of obsessive love and destructive passion.
"A breathless autobiographical second novel by this bright young Sicilian writer (100 Strokes of the Brush Before Bed) explores a young woman's riveting, cataclysmic conflict between maternity and romantic passion. The 19-year-old protagonist, an author and recognizable media personality, leaves her self-absorbed boyfriend, Claudio, for a feminine young man she loves helplessly. The 'you' she addresses in this first-person narrative is not the lover, Thomas, however, but her mother, who acts as the author's emotional guardian and nemesis. Her narrative jumps erratically from tender scenes with Thomas ('He imprisoned my breath in a glass jar, and sniffs it every time he makes love to me') to formative memories of growing up part of her mother's clan in Catania. A miscarriage adds to her 'orgy of feelings,' and the narrative becomes increasingly hallucinatory as her grief over losing the baby deepens, and jealousy for Thomas grips her in a kind of frenzy. The narrative forms a current of pure feeling, fearless and thrilling." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
Melissa P.'s fictionalized memoir, 100 Strokes of the Brush Before Bed, became an international literary phenomenon, selling over two million copies worldwide and inspiring profiles in Vanity Fair and The New York Times, as well as a warning from the pope. The Scent of Your Breath, the second installment in her series of confessions, is a smoldering tale of obsessive love and destructive passion.
Melissa, desperate for love and willing to do anything to find it, is now a successful writer in Rome, living with her new lover, Thomas. But as soon as she meets Viola, a woman from Thomas's past, sexual passion and insecurity mount in tandem, and Melissa is consumed with jealousy. Written as a confessional letter to her mother, the story that follows is one of dark obsession, violent lust, and soul-destroying talent. Driven by Melissa's singular voice — that unique and compelling combination of impetuous naivete and poetic sophistication that has mesmerized readers in thirty-one countries — The Scent of Your Breath blurs the boundaries between reality and fantasy and delves deep into the disturbing yet strangely familiar mind of a teenage girl terrorized by love.
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