Fiction. Women's Studies. Renowned classics professor Roberta Greaves finds her perfect life shattered by her husband's suicide and the huge gambling debts he has left behind. Grief-stricken and angry, Roberta must find a way to pay those debts. Remembering a story by Ovid about intergenerational sex, she decides to write an erotic novel, using a penname because she is worried that her career will suffer if her real identity is discovered. Drama critic John Schubert suspects the truth. Eager to bring Roberta down in revenge for some comments she once made, he finds an opportunity when he spots her with her publisher, who is well-known for the erotic literature he publishes. Meantime, Roberta hears some dirt about Schubert from the street kids with whom she does poetry workshops at a drop-in centre. When Roberta confronts Schubert, he says, "I'll keep your dirty secret if you keep mine." Roberta's life is now a mess of potential blackmail and intrigue. What's more, she learns an unpleasant truth about her "Daddy," a doctor whose memory she has always revered. Roberta's interactions with the street kids and the loyalty of her two sons and her friend Carl Talbot enable her to face her bruised world and move forward.
An award-winning educator, Ann Birch was an associate professor in the teacher-training programs at York University and the University of Toronto. She was Head of English in several Toronto high schools, and author of the best-selling text, Essay Writing Made Easy. She holds a post-graduate degree in CanLit and is currently a fiction writer and editor. Her first novel, Settlement, was published in 2010.Author City: TORONTO, ON CAN