Seldom has the subject of multiple sexual relationships been written about with such grace, depth, and passion as by Elizabeth Searle in A Four-Sided Bed. Alice and JJ are in love, and it's Alice's first time. Amid their tender revelations of intimacy, JJ's former stint in a mental institution comes to light, as well as his sexual relationships with Bird, a young woman, and with Kin, who Alice later learns is a man. It was a three-way love that saved his life. When Bird and Kin reenter JJs and Alice's lifeKin now living with AIDSAlice must redefine the meaning and the boundaries of love. Johanna Stoberock of the Seattle Times wrote: Searle's prose is lyrical; even the rhythm of her sentences captures the hesitation and isolating loneliness of her characters. She infuses the novel with a tangible sadness and longing, a longing within each of her characters for a fuller life, a life that comes without the necessity of reinvention…the book provides a moving meditation on love and loyalty… And, Kirkus Reviews called it A powerful unsettling first novel continuing what makes Searles work stand out is her relentless scrutiny of even the smallest events and gestures, the way in which she believably locates…the specifics of character…A bright, distinctive, haunting debut…
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