A Poker Game Of Love
by Alice Walsh
Not all stories end with a ‘happily-ever-after’, but that doesn’t mean they’re not worth telling … Because every romance happens for a reason … Even the most dysfunctional ones …
‘A Poker Game of Love’ is an in-depth look at the assorted humiliations, frequent disappointments and hard-earned triumphs (often at the expense of someone’s downfall) of a group of people in their late 20s, struggling to make it through life. Following the subtle change of roles, expectations and limits in relationships that are far from what they seem at first, the book explores the way people’s darker urges, insecurities, vanity and need for validation dictate and shape their lives.
With wry humour Alice Walsh explores the powerful driving force of female sexuality and the way it can be used to manipulate and subdue. Witness a deep and compelling story of dysfunctionality, promiscuity, emotional unavailability and the ultimate gift of learning to let go and move on from past mistakes.
In a world, where every date is a gamble and every relationship is a poker game of love – one of the players will have to outmanoeuvre all the rest to come out as the undeniable winner at the cost of anything. Because all is fair in love and war…
This is a character driven novel which portrays the deviousness of the human mind so well. It is raw and disturbing.
The two main characters, Sylvia and James, have known each other for many years and have an ongoing sexual relationship. James has ripped the heart out of Sylvia and turned her into an emotional robot, just like himself.
When Sylvia finds herself a man and a lifestyle that she wants, the game of one upmanship begins.
Sylvia is out to play James, but James, for all his ego, really doesn’t have a clue. He is emotionally stunted in every possible way. Whether this is because of a former girlfriend, only known as Her or She, or his obnoxious father we can only guess at. Probably a mixture of the two. His thought processes and reasoning are highly disturbing, not just for his girlfriend, Karen, but also for himself.
Sylvia is battle-hardened because of James and sees men, women and all relationships as a means to an end. She manages to have men falling at her feet despite not being particularly attractive (by her own admission), being four foot eight inches tall and having size eleven feet. The image this creates is not one of a femme fatale but Sylvia is able to work it well.
Karen, James’ girlfriend, gets caught up in James life and deserves none of it. But the destructive relationship between the two really is car crash viewing/reading and totally compelling.
I thoroughly enjoyed this book, if enjoyed is the right word. The characters are mostly awful, but brilliantly awful. It really makes you stop and think. The horrible truth is that there is absolutely no way you can ever know what is going on in someone else’s mind no matter how well you think you know them.
Many thanks to Alice Walsh, the author, for sending me a copy.