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Secret Exchanges

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An artist is invited by his girlfriend to visit her parents in the provinces and, failing to get on with her father, duly finds himself inviting her mother to his London studio where, to his shame, he allows himself to be seduced by her whilst apparently teaching her to meditate. Thereafter things go from bad to worse for Matthew Pearce, not to mention his girlfriend's mother, whose tetchy and ailing husband has discovered what he believes to be concrete evidence of her infidelity. Yet Deirdre Evans is determined to capitalize on Matthew's previous hospitality, just as the latter is having serious doubts not only about her but, thanks in part to their affair, about his relationship with her daughter, Gwendolyn, as well! Then, one evening, a female acquaintance of Gwen's turns up at his place and, before long, she precipitates him into a new and more passionate affair - in fact, the kind of affair he had been hoping for all along! So now it seems he can dispense with both Gwen and her mother and take up with Linda instead - provided, however, that she can secure a divorce from her husband on grounds of incompatibility. For Linda Daniels is also a married woman and, like Mrs Evans, the man to whom she is married proves himself to be no friend of Matthew Pearce! Could that be the main motive for Pearce's willingness, bordering on recklessness, to enter into affairs with both women? The reader is left to decide this and so much else for himself in what is, by any account, an ironic commentary on human relationships and their social and ideological interactions! - A Centretruths editorial.

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