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The history of construction all points to one question, according to the narrator of this ingenious novel, "...can that home bring true happiness, and if so, how long will it last before it needs to be renovated again in a different color scheme?" Renovation, in other words, fills an empty space and the renovator, by inference in the rest of this humorous, potent tale, just might be contracting to be the filler of a gaping hole or flaw in the "home" under the transformational process.
So begins Henry Sullivan's tale of his relationships with many filthy rich Los Angeles women who all know each other's dirty secrets but who have been providing Henry and his crew work and intrigue by word of mouth for a very long time.
Meet Sally Stein with whom Henry has some great sex but who is a bit jealous of what he's doing with the other woman he's working for. Then there's Rebecca Paulson whose husband hopes that this home renovation process might make his wife happy, that is until Henry begins Derrick Paulson is trying to frame him in order to divorce Rebecca. Not that Derrick is exactly an angel since he's bedding half of Los Angeles' females and is just a rather shady guy, the pot calling the kettle black perhaps?
Learning that there's an inexplicable relationship between Rebecca and Sally in the past intrigues Henry. For some reason it reminds him of his romance with Gina, which he describes in a descending scale, from their intimate infatuation to the malicious act she performs to get back at him for what died quite quickly. He's rather stymied by the latter as he supposed Derrick Paulson was behind this particularly threatening act.
Henry knows beyond a doubt that he should be running in the opposite direction from any and all of these possessive women, but the fact that he stays finally allows him to know his presence has been a most redeeming act in a surprising but oh so satisfying conclusion.
Confessions of a Contractor is a fun romp through the lives of the rich and famous, a sort of bachelor reality show pushing the protagonist into an antagonistic state and then traveling full circle to something richer and finer in the end! Very clever and an unusual, rewarding read!
Reviewed by Viviane Crystal on September 3, 2008