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Summer of Denial

71 pages1 hour


A close knit group of bohemian artists and writers gather at an island house for the summer. All but one are self satisfied, and believe they have all they want. And that other one is on the point of coming of age and discovering another part of himself.

Steeped in denial and laced with prescription medications to combat nerves, young pop-song composer, Adrian, has belatedly signed on for a summer escape from New York City to Daufuskie Island, an isolated largely absentee millionaires’ retreat near South Carolina’s Hilton Head Island.

Summering with Adrian, in tension that builds rather than dissipates, are his older wife, Helena, a novelist; her elder half brother, Damien, a randy painter seeking to mimic the styles of Rousseau and Gauguin on the steamy South Carolina island; Damien’s promiscuous international model younger wife, Tish; and the piggish but powerful book agent to them all, Benjamin Wrangel. Floating around the edges of this volatile core group are Wrangel’s sexy and willing Thai houseboy, Krit, as well as a sensual Adonis native hunk, Vandi; an uninhibited Tahitian-looking model for Damien from the local Gullah community, and an enterprising tourist boat captain.

The retreat isn’t going well in terms of helping Adrian to come to grips with his desires and the blockage in his composing muse. And it all begins to boil over when Helena reveals that the novel she’s working on is one exploring relationships—the separation of what she says are the two largest, distinct groups of relationships, those that are primarily sexual and those that are affection relationships. She claims that only a few merge satisfactorily into a combination of two, and that a person is in danger of two such relationships arising and competing at the same time.

Will the revelations that arise from Helena’s theories and the steamy couplings he stumbles on—and participates in—early in the summer clarify or deepen Adrian’s unacknowledged issue?

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