And Then There Were Three

Sixty-Seven Letters to Sasha

Non-Fiction - Memoir
116 Pages
Reviewed on 04/18/2016
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    Book Review

Reviewed by Viga Boland for Readers' Favorite

And Then There Were Three: Sixty-Seven Letters to Sasha by Julia G. Fox is a fascinating book. My fascination lies in both the author’s presentation of the material and her style. Rather than take the more traditional, novel-like approach to her memoir of three people in a polyamorous relationship, Julia G. Fox has chosen to present her material in a series of letters to Sasha, one of the principle characters. What I also find fascinating about the style is Julia G. Fox’s incredible ability to weave poetry into prose. Many times I found myself stopping to re-read a line or a paragraph for the deeper meaning suggested by the words. And Then There Were Three: Sixty-Seven Letters to Sasha is anything but a simple narrative memoir: it is poetic prose…and it’s beautiful.

And Then There Were Three is also intriguing, enlightening and even daringly raw. There will be some readers who will not be able to handle the erotic descriptions Julia G. Fox provides about the sex she enjoys with Sasha, who is gay. They may also be offended, shocked and quite unable to accept that Julia is also married to George, a bi-sexual, and that these three people somehow find a way for a period of time to live, love and have sex with each other, and as a threesome, with no traumatic psychological issues between them. How intriguing! It’s a lifestyle that for most people is part of a fantasy to which they could never admit.

The enlightening aspect of And Then There Were Three is also disturbing as we learn how dreadful it is to live in a society so non-accepting of same-sex love. Sasha grew up in and lives in the Ukraine. Under no circumstances does he dare reveal his true sexual leanings. In fact, his need to hide the truth is so important that he actually marries so he won’t be found out. What a terribly sad way to live. And Julia G. Fox has so beautifully shared Sasha’s sadness…and hers…with us.

I came away from this memoir deeply touched on many levels. If a reader is looking for titillation, there are plenty of other books on polyamory that provide that. If the reader is looking for something that is erotically honest, uniquely poetic and movingly memorable, Julia G. Fox has written And Then There Were Three for them.

Jack Magnus

And Then There Were Three: Sixty-Seven Letters to Sasha is a non-fiction memoir written by Julia G. Fox. The author and her husband, George, found themselves living as a threesome when they reconnected with Sasha, a gay Ukrainian man who had been George's lover when they were both students. Through this series of letters, Julia details how Sasha's existence was first made known to her and her later efforts to locate him. She shares the two former lovers’ tumultuous reunion, and, for her, first meeting, in their old French teacher's home in the South of France. As she sat in the corner watching Sasha while he interacted with the others in the room, she found herself wishing she were a man. She was immensely attracted to him, and, in many ways, fell in love almost at that first sight. The threesome they would later form was, for the most part, an harmonious one, one filled with laughter, good wine, dancing and love. And, in retrospect, one the author still misses as there doesn’t seem to be so much dancing anymore now that she and George are two once again.

Julia G. Fox's non-fiction memoir, And Then There Were Three: Sixty-Seven Letters to Sasha, is one of those books I just couldn't put down. Her letters are filled with life, love and the poignant sense of loss that seeps in every so often as the author leaves her nostalgic view of what was and returns with us into the present. Throughout the work, there's a sense of wistfulness, of Fox wishing that she had been born male, perhaps a flamboyant boy who sometimes needed to cross-dress or indulge his feminine side, but still one of those men who like men and I couldn't help but feel for her as she considers what might have been. As she mentions from time to time, many younger readers may marvel at the concept of gay men and lesbians marrying people of the opposite sex for propriety's sake, or, as was in the case of her Ukrainian Sasha, for sheer survival, but non-traditional gender and sexual orientation issues are still very much a cause for concern in many parts of the world, making this memoir a most timely and highly valued one indeed. I was enchanted by the time I spent with Julia, George, and Sasha. By the end of the book, I felt as though they were old friends, and Fox's loss was felt more deeply than I would have expected when I began her memoir. Julia G. Fox's non-fiction memoir, And Then There Were Three: Sixty-Seven Letters to Sasha, is most highly recommended.

Gisela Dixon

And Then There Were Three: Sixty-Seven Letters to Sasha by Julia G. Fox is a true story and autobiographical account written in the form of letters. And Then There Were Three basically revolves around the relationship between the author, her husband, George, and Sasha, an ex-lover of her husband’s from their college days. Julia and George have been married and living in London until the introduction of Sasha into their lives. George and Sasha know each other from before and were involved in a love affair before they each got married. The book, written in the form of letters from Julia to Sasha, chronicles their unique lifestyle and living arrangement as the three of them get into a relationship with each other. Sasha, although homosexual, is married to a woman as well, as a result of societal pressure under Communist rule in Ukraine. Their lives and letters provide a glimpse into what it means to be gay in countries and societies where homosexuality is still in the closet and can even be punished if found out.

And Then There Were Three is a loving but also tragic story about three lives. Although Julia is straight, her husband and his ex-lover Sasha are gay and/or bisexual and the result is a complex mix of emotions and sexual and interpersonal relationships between the three. Sasha especially comes from the East, typically a world where homosexuality is still taboo and divorces are uncommon simply due to societal pressure. This book offers a fascinating look into the lives and minds of the LGBT community, people who simply cannot express themselves openly. I found the writing to be direct and relevant and, although I wish more of the background story of these people in terms of how they grew up, how they met, etc. had been explored in more detail and the current circumstances of the people was more clear, it is still an interesting read.