I just finished reading The Price of Salt by Patricia Highsmith. I’d never heard of it before, but the tone of the book is supposed to have been the inspiration for Nabakov’s Lolita.
The book is based on an experience from the authors life, where she had an affair with a married, soon to be divorced older woman, and the woman’s husband used evidence of their relationship to obtain full custody over their daughter.
It’s not a very action packed book, it’s a lot of talking, but it’s interesting to read about a time not so long ago when people had to hide their relationships or face dire consequences.
Some of my favourite excerpts from the book:
“Happiness was like a green vine spreading through her, stretching fine tendrils, bearing flowers through her flesh. She had a vision of a pale white flower, shimmering as if seen in darkness, or through water. Why did people talk of heaven, she wondered.”
“I know what they’d like, they’d like a blank they could fill in. A person already filled in disturbs them terribly.”
“What was it to love someone, what was love exactly, and why did it end or not end? Those were the real questions, and who could answer them?”
“It would be Carol, in a thousand cities, a thousand houses, in foreign lands where they would go together, in heaven and in hell.”
You can read more about The Price of Salt here.