Ira Holloway, a native of the St. Louis area, revels in the beauty and physicality of women. He often imagines what he thinks goes through their minds. Ira goes into military service in Vietnam in the late 1960s. When he gets back, he meets artist Fiona Price in New York City. Fiona is an incest survivor who experiences violent jealousy toward Ira's fascination with women, and his memories of past relationships. She feels increasingly drawn to the Catholic Church for comfort.
After Ira and Fiona marry and have a son John, Fiona wants both men to attend services and Ira to pray and take confession. Ira plays along, and colludes with John on their "secret" about Fiona's religious expectations. Meanwhile, Ira regularly recalls flirtations from his teens, the prostitutes and other women he knew in Vietnam and Thailand, and continues to flirt (and fling) with other women. But he knows if he continues to give in to his desires, he will lose the company of the son he also loves so much. Butler's 1994 novel about a sensitive male's romantic journey is erotic.
This report prepared by David Loftus