Of the books I grabbed at that first trip to the library (that still feels weird to say - I'm 28 and can count on one hand how many times I've been to the library as an adult, and they're all in the past week), this was the book that I knew nothing about when I grabbed it from New Releases. It's got a pretty grabbing title after all.
Ally is a 31 year old professor with a 10 year old daughter, who has a whirlwind weekend of mind blowing sex with an ex-student while her mother and daughter were away.
10 years later she meets her daughter's famous boyfriend who brings that wonderful weekend back to her in an unexpected way.
At 41, Ally finally falls in love. At 41, Ally finally allows herself to fall in love. She finally learns to let go of not just her inhibitions but the control she's been forced to exert over her world since she became pregnant at 21. Ally has always been playing a balancing act between her mother who tells her she's only allowed one mistake and that her daughter is it. And her daughter who grows up sexually liberated. Finding that ground where Ally herself is comfortable being herself and not just a daughter or a mother is not easy for her.
Sex is scary, whether you're 21, 31, 41, and beyond. Sex is scary, but all of the risk and the fear can be totally worth it. There's even a question of whether or not Ally has really had sex other than at 21, 31, and 41. And each time she overcomes that fear, bad things may happen, but they're always worth it. A daughter. An unforgettable weekend. A love of her life.
The moral isn't "fuck everything that moves.". Don't get me wrong - there's a big part of Ally that believes and knows that sex is sacred. But the moral is more along the lines of, "don't get sacred confused for forbidden."
It really only loses half a star because it's tied up too neat. There's a little too much happily ever after for me.