In this third installment of Erica Jong’s exciting and irrepressible heroine, Isadora Wing once again soars and tries to polish her career, the solidarity management of her only daughter and her gloriously liberated love life just before her times up. Isadora is once again besieged by numerable suitors as her once again being single and divorced.
Like Fear of Flying and How to Save Your Own Life, Parachutes and Kisses doesn’t have a plot to start with or any other major description anyone can pinpoint or exactly tell which makes it unpredictable, some of the novels’ good points. For the story is basically character driven and is narrated in a confessional manner even with the exception of this particular title (being in a third person narrative). It is hard not to spoil someone in telling what the novel is all about. Like narrating someone’s life until the end and thus be able to figure-out what it is.
What I love about Erica Jong’s writing is her interjection of literary influences and her constantly quoting of writer’s works which makes the novel much more readable although it has some tendency to spoil (don’t rush on this one if you’re not done with Garp, Catch-22 and Sophie’s Choice even though the spoilers are not that major giveaway) but nonetheless makes it more exciting.
Isadora has long gone narrating her long list of suitors but I was glad Erica didn’t make it too trite and tiring which makes me think if the novel is one long confessional of existing individuals. The novel also contains the most outrageous of sex scenes which outdone both the first two books while it also retains Isadora’s moving journey. And yes I have to admit that all those years since her adventures in Fear of Flying, Isadora hasn’t grown up yet (she’s 40 here) but it too makes me realize something. That what we act on when we are still young, there is a major possibility that we’ll end up what we used to be and if others notice some differences from what we are, they don’t really notice a change but just an addition to our personality. The novel occasionally portrays Isadora’s hard times in moving on with some certain aspects of her life which makes her life much more complicated, an intelligent portrayal of the ambivalence of one’s decision making. We can’t just say one is unable to grow up with just the fact that he or she is having a hard time coping and moving on, Isadora’s immaturity for others focuses on something more deep. That we are truer with are actions before if the end point of it was devastating to us. I’m just glad with what everything she does and finally accepts everything as it is.
It is seventeen years past as of this year since the publication of Parachutes and Kisses and I hope to hear something more from Isadora for I’m sure she still has plenty of good times to tell even in old age. Ms. Erica, I’m still waiting for the sequel.
Opening Sentence: Isadora, separated from Josh, is like a kid in her twenties.
Ending Sentence: And she was still alive.