Soulla Christodoulou: ALEXANDER AND MARIA
Alexander, a care worker in Inverness whose twenty-year marriage has gone sour, starts a relationship on Twitter with Maria, a divorcee in London who works in PR and writes so-far-unpublished novels. They both bring ‘baggage’ with them: Alexander suffers from cerebral palsy; Maria has a troubled-teen daughter. They share a love of poetry which elevates their tweets above the mundane and makes them feel they are made for each other. Texting escalates to ‘sexting’ and the two plan a rendezvous in London.
This is very much a love story for the times we live in. Aside from Alexander’s disability these are two very ordinary people whose online romance may or may not be the start of something bigger and better than they’ve experienced before. Soulla Christodoulou writes a well-paced story in a lean contemporary prose that brings her characters vividly and appealingly to life. There are scenes that teeter on the edge of Fifty Shades-style raunchiness, but the author stays – just – below the crossover line between erotica and porn. A fine and intense romance.