Sylvia Field is fifty, divorced, and lonely. When a friend suggests a change from London, Sylvia takes up a teaching post at a Tokyo university. Soon she is caught up in a world of erotic possibility. Her greengrocer offers her more than fresh fruit and vegetables; a swimming acquaintance invites her to a ‘love hotel’; and a young bank clerk, Toshi, is less innocent than he appears. As her relationship with Toshi unfolds, Sylvia questions his loyalty – but she still finds him irresistible. The university provides comparable excitement. Sylvia trades confidences with her gay colleague, Matthew, while fending off the advances of the importunate Professor Suzuki. Matthew and his Japanese lover, Jun, seek pleasure in Tokyo’s underground, where an amusing transvestite strip-tease and the kinky relationships in an escort club for frustrated housewives are part of an alternative scene skilfully evoked by the author. When Sylvia gives a party in honour of her son’s visit to Tokyo with his male lover, the novel reaches a climax in the confrontation between East and West, with comic repercussions. A novel of wit and humour, Uneasy Relations follows Sylvia through university classrooms, exotic nightlife, and the general confusion of Tokyo as she comes to terms with the puzzling Japanese.
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