“Provokingly complicated and eminently readable . . . Weldon raises more questions about contemporary sexual politics.” Financial Times
978-0-8021-4405-8 • $14.00 • Paperback • Feb. 2009
Fay Weldon has been hailed as “dry [and] delicious” by Caroline See in The Washington Post, and “the Dorothy Parker of our time” by London’s Daily Telegraph. Her latest novel, The Spa, is full of all the biting humor and glittering prose that made her name. Now in paperback, it offers a glimpse of the despairs and dalliances of a set of high-powered women who have burned paths throughand sometimes been burned bytheir worlds and the men in them. It is the week between Christmas and New Year’s, and ten high-achieving ladies are gathered at the expensive Castle Spa, seeking to rejuvenate themselves with Botox, aromatherapy, and all-around pampering. They lounge around in the Jacuzzi, sipping champagne, and telling each other the stories of their lives, starting with the Trophy Wife’s tale of her spell in a Greek prison; the Brain Surgeon’s tale of twins and mistaken identity; and the Judge’s tale of a sex change that allowed him to judge the pleasures of the bedroom from both male and female perspectives. The manicurist, the public speaker, the journalist, the company director, the ex-vicar’s wife, and the screenwriter all share their stories, ending with the stepmother’s tale, a reversal of Cinderella’s fate, with the stepmother as the victim. Always sharp tongued and occasionally libidinous, The Spa is a darkly funny sketch of a group of women who, despite prejudice, imprisonment, domestic catastrophes and romantic debacles, have risen to the top of their respective worlds.