The Great Man

I had never thought about women in their 70s and 80s having sex until reading The Great Man, which not only surrounds its readers in the world of professional art and artists, but also the usually unspoken sexual lives of women in their 70s. The novel follows several women, focusing mostly on the wife, mistress and sister of a male artist famous for his paintings of women in the nude. The “big secret” of the story may be a bit dull, but what makes the novel worth the read is how the women are revealed by their relationships with their friends, enemies and lovers. Kate Christensen writes her characters in such a way that their ages are simply measurers of experience, like a school attended or a city visited, leaving their sexualities and hearts time to grow.