Thursday, December 01, 2011

Heuler, Made-Up Man (2011)

Karen Heuler, The Made-Up Man. Livingston Press, 2011. Pp. 284. ISBN 9 78-1-60489-080-8. $21.00.

Reviewed by N.A. Jackson

Karen Heuler’s novel begins with a cautionary statement for the post-feminist:
“There are three things a woman should take for granted: looks will fade, men will stray, and wishes are worthless without actions.”
Alyson, a thirty five year old editorial assistant, is on the cusp of learning the bitter truth of this dictum. As the novel opens she lives in a comfortable relationship (or at least in a state of blissful ignorance) with her boyfriend Peter, until she discovers he's having an affair with her best friend, Maggie. The torrent of emotions she experiences, from self-pity to hatred and a desire for revenge, lead her to enter into a Faustian bargain with a gypsy, Madame Hope, who agrees to change her into a man in exchange for her soul.