Read A Spy In the House of Love by Anaïs Nin Online

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A Spy in the House of Love is one of the most celebrated novels ever written on the psyche and sexuality of women. It explores the inner world of a fascinating and complex woman whose affairs with four men express all the duplicity and fragmentation of self involved in the search for love....

Title : A Spy In the House of Love
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9780140183900
Format Type : Paperback
Number of Pages : 124 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

A Spy In the House of Love Reviews

  • Lynne King
    2019-04-22 06:26

    A taster: “Desire made a volcanic island, on which they lay in a trance, feeling the subterranean whirls lying beneath them……The trembling premonitions shaking the hands, the body, made dancing……..They fled from the eyes of the world……where there were no words by which to possess each other….. unbearable but only one ritual, a joyous, joyous impaling of woman on a man’s sensual mast.”But “who is Sabina? What is she?”I’ve read Anaïs Nin’s “Journal of a Wife” (The Early Diary of Anaïs Nin, 1923-27), followed by her seven journals (magnificent insight into a woman’s mind and for which she is remembered today), and also the “Delta of Venus” (erotica at its best), but when I came to try and analyze what I felt and why I liked “A Spy in the House of Love”, I was at a loss where to begin. I think it was a sense of insecurity of being outside my comfort zone and yet, in a contradictory way; the realization that I could relate to quite a sizeable part of it. Not all of it, of course. I also quickly came to the conclusion that I had to reread the “Journal of a Wife” to see how the author coped as a married woman (as it is well known that many of her published works are autobiographical) in trying to understand her relationship with Alan (in real life her husband Hugh (Hugo) P. Guiler).I needed this background and found: “And Hugo has above all the quality of constant variety. He evolves continually so that I can understand him without knowing all of him…..I foresee the exclusion of one generally accepted misfortune befalling the married ones – we shall escape monotony.”“A Spy in the House of Love” is an appetizer of things to come, such as a meal, a voyage, a new lover, to changes in one’s life... and the word “excitement” immediately springs to mind. Also, it must not be forgotten that it’s due to Henry Miller that we have the erotic works of Anaïs Nin. A book collector had offered Henry Miller a hundred dollars a month to write erotic stories in the early forties. He soon became bored with this and his “friend” Anaïs took over and began to thoroughly enjoy writing them.In addition, this is a journey into Sabina’s mind. She’s a lost soul trapped within herself; and even though there is protection and comfort in her married life (ten years) with Alan, there is also suffocation. This causes her “to break out” from time to time to regain strength and inner equilibrium, and replenish her erotic thoughts and sexual needs. Alan is “her rock” (quoted by the late Diana, Princess of Wales in talking of the stability that she found in Paul Burrell, who was her butler) and provided stability for her by always being there for her. Even when Sabina was away on her supposed “actress” jaunts (when in fact she sometimes stayed locally in New York), Alan was always the same upon her return, dependable, loving but just not exciting enough. And yet when she fears that he has come to search for her on one of her “excursions”, she is completely contrary in her thoughts:For one evening she is convinced Alan is outside one of her lover’s homes:“For her this was the end of the world. Alan was the core of her life….her existence in Alan’s eyes was her only true existence.” Out of all the men mentioned: Philip, the opera singer; Mambo, the drummer in the night club; John the aviator; Donald, and Jay an old lover, it was the English aviator John who intrigued me. He and Sabina had a common interest, they were both grounded; he from the sky and Sabina on the ground as she felt that “Long Island is a tomb, and one more day in it would bring suffocation.”I found Sabina a rather strange and yet complex individual; constantly worrying, fidgety, on the move – just constant motion, and lying. And her dress was so important to her, especially her cape because:“Her cape which was more than a cape, which was a sail, which was the feelings she threw to the four winds to be swelled and swept by the wind in motion lay becalmed. Her dress was becalmed. It was as if now she were nothing that the wind could catch, swell and propel. For Sabina, to be becalmed meant to die.”And when she wore her cape, it “held within its fold something of what she imagined was a quality possessed exclusively by man: some dash, some audacity, some swagger of freedom denied to woman…..The toreador’s provocative flings, the medieval horsemen’s floating flag of attack, a sail unfurled in full collision with the wind….”The shame, however, of her adventures afterwards: “Alan never understood her eagerness to take a bath, her immediate need to change her clothes, to wash off the old makeup.” Lies…I was confused with an individual referred to as the “lie detector” in the first chapter. Was there some hidden meaning here was my immediate thought? Also I knew that the author had studied psychoanalysis whilst in Paris and perhaps this was the alter ego?” The “lie detector” had received a call from Sabina in the middle of the night, had the call traced and found her in a bar. He had recognized her voice immediately. He “hovers” in the background throughout the book and then she finally challenges him and…well that’s for you the reader to find out. I would, however, be intrigued to have an interpretation on this individual from other readers.I had to read this book slowly and even though it’s a novella, it still took me a while to finish it. I found that I kept on returning to statements that the author had made and the one shown in this heading is the one I remembered first. Now what does that say for me I ask myself? Nevertheless, one is aware of the author’s sensuality and writing style right from the beginning.When I read the last words of this book, my immediate thought was that it was so thought-provoking, in that it caused me to examine my own sensuality and the memorable quotes studded throughout the book are excellent in their own right.I kept on asking myself, how could this novella, such a small book give me so many questions of which I required answers? But then that’s the beauty of being a human being, a thinking machine I guess… So if you want a sensual, magical mystery tour, this book will be a definite read for you and it should encourage you as a reader to follow on with Anaïs Nin’s captivating journals.

  • LaRaie
    2019-04-23 06:24

    I want to take a moonbath

  • Dolors
    2019-03-29 06:59

    Maybe because I expected a much simpler tale or maybe because I had higher expectations about what this book would be like, but somehow I couldn't help but feeling deceived by this story.The short summary at the back cover seemed promising enough: a haunted woman, Sabina, who is unable to remain faithful to her husband Alan. She is helplessly attracted to total strangers and finally driven into fruitless affairs which leave her feeling restless, guilty and edgy. But at the same time, she can't live without these different kind of loves, she has multiple faces, she is specially transformed for each one of her lovers and she can't perform normally with her husband if she doesn't have the excitement of these other amorous adventures.Don't know exactly why, but for me, it didn't work. The spell wasn't there. I thought the writer tried too hard, sometimes you got lost with her long descriptions of Sabina's red dresses or the feelings she shared with each of her lovers. She wandered too much, didn't focus enough and I felt like an outsider, a voyeur watching some kind of schizophrenic woman acting like a 17 year old. Then there was the repeating guilt and the references to Debussy and Mme Bovary all over the book. You got the point the first time, why did you have to read it all over and over again? I found it tiresome, thank God the book was only 120 pages long!I will give it 2,5 stars though, because I sort of liked the last pages, where I could find a bit of what I had expected of the whole book. There were some good sentences which gave a glimpse of what the book could have been like, if only the writer had been more humble in her writing and had brought the novel to a more "earthly level".Some quotations I liked from the book (well, the last pages):"Let us say I had perverted tendencies: I believed everything I read""But if I told the truth, I would be not only lonely but also alone, and I would cause each one great harm""The enemy of love is never outside, it's not a man or a woman, it's what we lack in ourselves."

  • Angie
    2019-04-15 07:19

    Anaïs Nin crafts stunning (and self-destructive?) descriptions of the many insecurities and anxieties of being a woman. This book, although sometimes a bit trite, completely floored me. I'm resonating in her language, almost in disbelief at having familiar issues so beautifully and boldy presented. I actually found myself caught up in her adept confessions of the sometimes banal main character, and was often reading on for pages before realizing that I needed to slow down and let some of the minute details really sink in. Although some debatable content, overall a great read. I think I may have found what I've been looking for.

  • Mariel
    2019-03-29 12:57

    He turned his eyes, now a glacial blue, fully upon her. They were impersonal and seemed to gaze beyond her at all women who had dissolved into one, but who might at any moment again become dissolved into all.This was the gaze Sabina had always encountered in Don Juan, everywhere; it was the gaze she mistrusted.It was the alchemy of desire fixing itself upon the incarnation of all women into Sabina for a moment but as easily by a second process able to alchemize Sabina into many others. I remember a super old John Turturro interview (from the 1990s) about his film Illuminata. He said that love stories were always about couples getting together and almost never about their lives after, about people who have been in love. He said it better than I've written it just there. I remember another old thing about what happens when the you that is you around other people collides with the you that is you around different other people. It was from My So-Called Life (great show). Angela feared that she would cease to exist if this happened. Sabina is the films that are about people before they fall in love and never about the people who are already together. Sabina is the fear that she will implode if the edges of the seas intrude on the same beach. Which lie did I tell? She is a criminal who wants to be caught. She wants to be discovered for who she truly is. The young Sabina mistakes an unrestrained life for the story that is always beginning. She will meet a new lover and another lover. I was more moved by how tired she was of running eternally in the same place than I was in any of the before conquest eyed desire and after bedding need to disentangle and begin again. I would have felt nothing for the book if it didn't feel so life-like tired. If the weight on the shoulders didn't say that you must not give yourself away. Don't look the wrong way, don't say the wrong thing. I don't want to stay in the story sperm of an unnamed fantasy that must be protected. For who and for what my imagination starved for a better answer. This lover wants a woman who feels the fire only in her flesh and never in her heart. This man judges you for a bad man. Be all things to all men and you will never run out of roles to play. Life doesn't end if it never begins. A Spy in the House of Love opens with a confession to be caught. Let the mask fall and there is more to life than the promise of a story. That made it for me. I don't know what happens but I believed in the real reason people need other people. When she says that you judge yourself more harshly than another person ever could and it is a relief to see yourself not a fly in that glass. The you that isn't a different you depending on who you are with but knowing the you that breathes more because of what you see in someone else. That look, not the don't speak and don't ruin it no one was ever really hear love story beginning. I really like Nin for writing a book like this.She understood why it angered her when people spoke of life as one life. She became certain of myriad lives within herself. Her sense of time altered. She felt acutely and with grief the shortness of life's physical span. Death was terrifyingly near, and the journey towards it, vertiginous; but only when she considered the lives around her, accepting their time tables, clocks, measurements. Everything they did constricted time. They spoke of one birth, one childhood, one adolescence, one romance, one marriage, one maturity, one aging, one death, and then transmitted the monotonous cycle to their children. But Sabina activated by the moon-rays, felt germinating in her the power to extend time in the ramifications of myriad lives and loves, to expand the journey to infinity, taking immense and luxurious detours as the courtesan depositor of multiple desires.

  • Gearóid
    2019-03-26 09:24

    My first Anais Nin book so i did'nt know what to expect really.But what i discovered was a beautifully written book.Very descriptiveand an over powering sense of the anxiety Sabina was suffering inthe story.Such an edgy restless character.I did'nt think it was so erotic....just a study of the guilt andanxiety of Sabina who was trying to find love and didnt seem to reallyknow what she was looking for or could'nt find it all in one place.Felt a bit sorry for her husband who didnt have a clue what was going on.But he seemed happy enough.Really lovely writing and i will read more Anais Nin.

  • Adrienne
    2019-04-02 12:17

    All I am going to say is this is an amazing piece of work, readng it is a sensuous experience,one to be savoured and thought about. Anais Nin has captured perfectly the feelings of many women who are torn between being wife,lover,mother,child,friend and mentor and how all those facets of our personality come together to create the person we are. If words acould be turned into something tangible this read would be (for me) Calvados, Shalimar perfume and cigar smoke, Exotic and mysterious, with just a touch of melancholy.Note:- this piece revolves around adultery so not for those who are averse to this activity.

  • Marisa Fernandes
    2019-04-18 12:04

    "Uma Espia na Casa do Amor" deixou-me indecisa entre as 2 e as 3 estrelas... A verdade é que quando me questiono se gostei do livro não consigo dizer que não gostei, mas também não consigo dizer que gostei. A meu ver a obra tem um argumento com tudo para dar um livro interessante, no mínimo "agitante": uma mulher que apesar de viver com um homem que a ama decide ausentar-se, de vez em quando, alegando razões profissionais, mas tudo o que faz nesses períodos é experimentar o amor de outros homens, sem qualquer espécie de relação de qualquer tipo... No entanto, o interesse do argumento perde-se na sua concretização. A autora tem tiradas inteligentes, dotadas de grande profundidade e reflexão (que admirei bastante e tomei nota porque são dignas de leituras e releituras), mas ao mesmo tempo a forma como começa o livro é confusa, deixando o leitor cheio de dúvidas, e a forma como também apresenta os encontros ocasionais, se volta a referir aos sentimentos de Sabina e ao modo como o marido a trata é feita atabalhoada, caótica e desorganizadamente. Nem sempre é fácil compreender que se passou de uma coisa à outra e, às vezes, essa transição é abrupta. Por outro lado, a obra não dispõe de capítulos, o que faz com que o leitor tenha de andar à procura do “tempo certo” para fazer uma pausa e isso acaba por cansar um pouco e constituir motivo de algum stress …!No essencial, a obra concentra-se no desejo de liberdade e independência da personagem principal, que parece não querer amar ninguém, e que sendo infiel, por "necessidade", não sabe como lidar com a culpa (?) e a eventual e hipotética possibilidade de descoberta dessa vida paralela pelo marido. Ainda que a escrita de Anaïs Nin se foque no estado de alma de Sabina, com pouca ou nenhuma relevância dos cenários e a quase ausência de descrições, e seja nessa perspectiva riquissima, a verdade é que no geral o meu maior desejo foi sempre conseguir terminar o livro o mais rapidamente possível... Como se não conseguisse aguentar aquela leitura por mais tempo do que o apenas necessário! E é isto.*"Como ela aprendera a fazer desaparecer cartas de amor pelo lavabo, a não deixar cabelos no pente emprestado, a reunir os ganchos do cabelo, a apagar vestígios de baton em toda a parte, a sacudir nuvens de pó de arroz. Os seus olhos eram como os olhos de uma espia. Os seus hábitos eram como os hábitos de uma espia. Como ela punha todas as suas roupas numa cadeira, como se pudesse ser chamada de repente e não devesse deixar quaisquer vestígios da sua presença. (...)"[p. 58]

  • Magdelanye
    2019-03-28 13:16

    What I remember most from my first reading of this book is the feeling of disappointment when I was done. That there was no resolution, no final report,and not even a character I could bond with.In fact, the characters rather repelled me.They seemed to lack substance. I felt like I had stumbled in to the wrong party,and instead of the crowd of witty friends I was expecting,I was confronted with an aimless group of earnest strangers. From the perspective of years,I can see how I may have been vastly put off and unwilling to face the issues that AN raises,that I in fact was facing myself. The first time I read this book,it took me a day,and I did not get much from it.This time, I took almost 3 days,spending hours contemplating just a couple of pages.AN has the genius to articulate what can't be put into words.Here,she explores the underside of eroticism, the idea of erotic resonance,"the elevations which heightened the pulse...",the maintanance of innocence,the role of duplicity, the kindness of lies."The body usually betrays the soul"she is forced to conclude. In my 20's I did not want to hear that. My initial problem with the book was exacerbated by the fact that I was at that juncture rather violently rejecting Romanticism,and this is such a romantic book in essence.

  • Bethan
    2019-04-08 14:27

    The theme of this book is infidelity - Sabina, the main character, commits infidelity and it's about her thoughts and experiences about that. Nin is very avant garde a writer and this is both her strength and failing. I get a sense that the writer is continually and self-consciously striving and pushing for showy image and style. As a result substance can often suffer for that. Often this novel feels thin and insubstantial. The characters are not well-developed - the men are like caricatures or are paper-thin and two dimensional: simply cut-outs this woman plays theatre for her need for emotion and self-confirmation with - and there isn't much of a story, other than Sabina's relationships with several men.It can be like an egoistic show; a novel of self-absorbed indulgence, and is very vulgar for that. But then on the other hand, equally it can get into a good flow. The symbolism and chimera of imagery becomes beautiful, poetic, swimming in the muskiness of and plucking the strings of the emotional life, and Nin undoubtedly sometimes has great psychological theorising and expression e.g. that Sabina commits infidelity because some unidentified shock made her distrustful of a single love and so she divided them as a measure of safety - Nin has many good quotes. Therefore, my experience of Nin is mixed. However, above all Nin's writing is unlike most other writers and interesting for that, if like a drunk and intoxicating mystery that I go to but then the substance often disappoints me when I do, but it's about chasing the dragon.

  • Shilo
    2019-04-15 08:06

    beautifully written, a tale of a dissolving marriage.personally, I spent nearly the entirety of the book thinking that had this woman used some autonomy in her early adulthood and perhaps didn't jump into marriage so young, her questioning would have been resolved as a normal part of growing up and with far less emotional expense.But really, it's a different era, and I'm a different kind of woman. I found it incredibly difficult to relate.It seems to me that most of her problems would have been solved had she gotten laid a little more.

  • Kelly
    2019-04-19 14:25

    I think that Nin's writing is always outstanding. This was no different. The story was not erotic at all, but followed Sabine, who has multiple love affairs. It gives you a glimpse of her guilt and her thought processes. I found it quite sad actually, as it seems like she felt estranged from everything and was never contented.

  • Gabrielle Scabellone
    2019-04-15 06:23

    Let me say right of the bat that I have a particular soft spot for poetic, beautiful writing - which undeniably this book delivered. With that said, the story was not very compelling for me and instead of being thoroughly entranced like I usually am in books with this type of language, I instead felt myself reading bits and pieces here and there when I felt in the mood. It felt to me more like a collection of vaguely resembling and interconnecting dreams than a continuous plot (which admittedly could have been a result of the way I read it). Overall I was a little unsatisfied. Just when I felt as if I was beginning to understand her thoughts, motivations and patterns the book just ended. No resolution, no repercussions for her actions, no character growth, no definitive ending which I could accept - and perhaps the most devastating to me - no moment in which I felt like I completely understood her. For me the beauty of Nin's language and writing was one of its few saving graces.

  • David
    2019-03-29 08:01

    I wouldn't advise reading this if you are working the nightshift in a Siberian coalmine: these are strictly poor-little-rich-girl problems.But that's not to say that Sabina isn't very unhappy and deserving of our sympathy, and that Nin doesn't write very well. I just think Mary McCarthy probably did it better: a sense of humour, and characters taking themselves a bit less seriously. There's no escaping that Sabina's problems could have been solved by either:a) A job. An early Peggy at Sterling Cooper? Thinking of taglines between the blowjobs would be more healthy than wringing her hands about who she is.b) A sassy (gay) friend: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sJLvl9...

  • Kaion
    2019-04-13 13:59

    I was sort of sticking around to find out whether Sabina just really wanted lots of sex and all this "I am the morphing woman" thing was her sex-repressed way of justifying her sexual appetites, or if it was the other way around. Ultimately, I suppose it doesn't really matter, and to pin it down to one or another would make the book little more than a psychological case study. Mostly, her lifestyle (and Nin's prose) seemed exhausting, and made me very happy to be in my jammies at night, cuddling with my laptop and my dog, instead of roaming the city in search of metaphor-spewing orgasms.But you do you, Anais. You do you.

  • Morgan
    2019-04-10 08:13

    I first discovered Nin last year actually. Read a sample of her diary in a comic book anthology I own. Ended up really liking her. Thankfully my mom owns three of her books. This one being the first that was published the earliest.I wouldn't start with this book though. I feel like I made the mistake reading an authors wok in chronological order this time. Most of the times I try to do that to see how a writer writes, but I felt like I was missing something with this one. Is there a book before I'm missing?I still love Nin's writing style in this. Loved a lot of the quotes and like her word choices. She obviously cares about her writing. I have a feeling I'll kike Delta Venus and Little Birds a lot better cause they are more well known. But I do love her writing.If you liked her I suggest you read Henry Miller and D. H. Lawrence as well. She wrote about one and slept with the other. In honestly, she was clearly influenced by both, but she help erotica too. I believe she opened the doors for many women writers in this type of gene. Letting people talk about a real relationship rather then some fairytale.I should also point out if you want to read this thinking it's a spy novel, don't. Didn't even occur to me until today that this would make a perfect James Bond title. You'll get action, but not th action you're expecting.

  • Michelle
    2019-04-18 13:08

    First Anais Nin I've ever read...basically, the story of a woman who is deeply vulnerable and unstable. Throughout the story, Sabina slips in and out of sexual encounters with different men although she seems to derive her deepest happiness from a man named Alan, who represents somewhat of a father figure. Although she deeply admires him and even might love him, Sabina is so unstable that she cannot seem to stop her infidelities, even though she is racked with guilt and paranoia afterward. Her entire life, it seems, has become one big game of espionage. She has to come up with alibis, make sure she doesn't frequent the same places with each man, and she has to lie almost constantly. Her existence, although romantic and filled with passion, seems also incredibly torturous. I wanted so deeply to enjoy this book and, for the most part, I did but I was left wanting a bit more. The imagery was beautiful, sensual, and easy relatable(her description of Alan was eerily similar to how I would describe my boyfriend) yet the plot seemed a bit too unstructured for my tastes. I wasn't particularly floored but I won't give up on Nin yet! I plan on reading "Henry and June" soon.

  • Heleen
    2019-03-31 11:06

    I know no one who evokes the extremes of emotion and physical sensation as convincingly as Anaïs Nin. Exactly that might be the problem. There is no pause in the intensity of her prose. It's arresting, yes, breathless, certainly - restless, desperate, at times despairingly hopeful, and it's all of these things at once. Her sentences never stutter before gaining momentum again. They gallop along, endlessly, with sweat on their tongues, urged on by a writer who doesn't believe in taking a breath when that breath is not one of infinite arousal. Her writing style therefore can be quite baroque at best, flowery at worst. And yet, and YET... Perhaps this is exactly Nin's charm; exactly the thing that makes me return to her. I feel like you cannot read her books without being prepared to succumb to her energetic pace and the density of her writing style. It is exactly that density that reveals a fragile intimacy - a gate if you will - able to reveal parts of life you're only hesitant to admit existed, let alone aspire to.

  • Debbie Robson
    2019-04-18 09:13

    Having already read one of Nin's erotic short story collections, I (wrongly) presumed that this novel was a similar type of work. How wrong could I be! This is (for me anyway) a brilliant evocation of a lost soul. Sabina moves between her sheltered, relatively happy life with Alan to her restless wanderings of nightclubs, the beach and Mambo's club. During the course of this short novel we meet three of her men. My favourite is the flyer from the war who has seen death and like Sabina can't live a normal life. My one complaint is that the back cover says Sabina is a firebrand of New York's 1950s but within the text it appears the war is still ongoing. As she moves between two worlds, the lies involved often suffocate her. The details of this torn life are so artfully recreated that I began to wonder about the author. Sure enough she was actually married to two men at the same time and actually had two sets of checkbooks, one said Anaïs Guiler for New York and the other said Anaïs Pole for Los Angeles. What a fascinating women! I'm now hoping to read a lot more of her work.

  • Siri Livingston
    2019-04-20 08:09

    At page 7: What on earth is this ridiculously stylised... blather?At page 30: Okay... maybe I'll finish this...At page 60: *Gets out highlighter for really lovely observational passages*At page 80: Oh god, what am I reading? When will this end? I can't stop...By page 123: Thank goodness that's over!At times the language is descriptive and lovely, like a blend of feminist Angela Carter and the most flowery of prose (maybe Wilde's in A Picture of Dorian Grey?).At others, a pretentious, run-on sentence a paragraph long or a heavy-handed reference to the repugnant main character's "fragmented self" "gleams off the page". It's like you gave a teen some psychoanalysis and a deadline for the next day to have written fiction about it.Won't be reading any more of Nin any time soon, but she certainly was quite the experience.

  • Sarah Coe
    2019-04-02 10:05

    Anais Nin is brilliant at capturing the essence of female sensuality, mystery and complexity. Reading Nin feels like taking a warm, candle-lit bath while drinking a glass of good red wine.

  • Janet
    2019-04-07 06:22

    I wanted to be Anais Nin... couldn't manage the eyelashes. Prefer her fiction to her diary, and this is my favorite--the ghost of June Miller everywhere here.

  • Theresa Wasiloski
    2019-03-26 10:08

    So... I think "fecund" was Nin's favorite word while writing this book. And it kind of grosses me out. What I liked most about this book were the insights- into the hiding, lies and guilt, particularly. While reading A Spy I had several of those "yes, i understand that completely" moments, which I appreciated. Also, the on-fireness of Sabina I thought was relatable. Consume, consume, consume. And I liked the idea of moonbathing.What bothered me most was that I felt no sympathy or compassion for the main character, and I wondered if more structure in the plot might get me more invovled- the glimpses of her affairs blur from one to the next, all sort of dreamy, and I was never really sure if the chapters were chronological. I thought maybe Iif I were more aware of the time pasing I would feel like a spy with her, as opposed to a detatched observer. I suppose the style echoes (or vice-versa) the way Sabina storytells to her friends that materialize in the last chapter or two, and it would make sense for the reader to not really know her. We know what she wears, but not what she looks like. She paints colorful pictures, but changes all the identifying details. I guess you can't ever really know a spy.I was confused by the last line, about the cure for crying when she hears music-?

  • Maura
    2019-04-07 13:09

    There are those who view Sabina as a hero and those who view her as a villain. I can not change the mind of one who dismisses this book because they are not interested in her life and her experiences. A Spy In The House of Love is very much Sabina's mental anguish, her uncertainty and her conscience wrestling within itself and if you've no interest in her, you will not be interested in her story.This is a book about a woman who, quite simply, has affairs. Plural. I find it quite easy to find tales of men who philander. I find stories about women who escape bad relationships in the arms of other men. I find accounts of individuals who meet their soul-mates and run off to be with them.But.This is something I do not find. Its literary equal did not exist when Anais Nin penned it and I do not believe that in a popular sense it exists today. Sabina is happily married. The men she is with are not the loves of her life. Each relationship is an escape, but the escape is not from the tragic, merely the mundane. Nin delves into her psyche, explores her discontent and does so beautifully and fully.I do not recommend this book. If you need to read it, you will. And if you read it and understand it, it will have mattered.It is not for everyone. But for those whom it touches, it will leave its mark.

  • Mersini
    2019-03-29 13:11

    Oh god, this book is incredible. Thank you Anais Nin! I'm sure it's not the only book out there that covers this topic, but it's the only one I've read, where a woman who sleeps around is neither a slut nor a whore, but simply a lost being who is in search of love and who thinks that sex can be transformed into it. She is not judged by anyone but herself. She is not shamed for her actions, except by herself. She is driven by need and held back by guilt, and lives a half life in which she is throwing herself into the world physically as an adult, but conducts herself emotionally as a child. Basically, it's the kind of book everyone needs to read to understand that woman who sleeps around isn't just in need of attention, but might be missing something profound in herself that she seeks to find. It's the kind of book that shows you that it's not only the male heroes who feel discontent.

  • Sophie
    2019-04-18 13:15

    the novel follows Sabina, a woman who dares to explore her feminine sexuality in search of true love. as she remembers her various love interests, she feels guilty of her lifestyle, torn between the yearning to pursuit her desires and the strain to sustain her relationship with her husband, Alan, her "security blanket", who she feels she has to protect. the writing style was poetic and melancholic, while the narrative device was stream of consciousness, which is a technique that i absolutely adore. however, i couldn't sympathize with the main character and at times i would get bored and/or frustrated by her thoughts. the story itself didn't appeal to me as much as the plot summary did. all in all, i really wanted to like this book and i am sad and disappointed that it didn't happen.

  • Taylor
    2019-04-04 11:11

    Gosh, this was dull and drear.I felt like it just dragged on and on (which it did) as it laid on my bed side table for 4 months with only 10 pages left, of which I couldn't even bring myself to finish until now.The moving from locations and times, for one, was just so incredibly messy. I was attached to absolutely no characters, nor interested or invested in them. The plot bored me. It was all a great shame because some of the authors other works I've read were very artistic and really beautifully intertwined sensuality with art and made many social statements, etc. This was all quite dull in comparison (as it pains me to say).

  • Karen
    2019-04-08 12:04

    I really liked the portrayal of a woman being multifaceted and feeling pulled in different directions. Sabina was a character I think most women could relate to. Often I can see myself in different roles in life, or choosing different pathways. Sabina's struggles with choosing one role and not feeling like she is betraying another part of herself, or other people, is something I think made me as the reader feel connected to her. Excellent read. I also enjoyed the vocabulary used in this book.

  • Pete daPixie
    2019-04-16 12:20

    I was stirred but not shaken by 'A Spy in the House of Love'. A short story readable in just a few hours. Well written and fast paced. A 1950's feminine view of infidelity and guilt.

  • Misha Chan
    2019-04-19 10:18

    A well written tale. Although, there was more thoughts then story. Nothing much really happened apart from this paranoid women, having affairs with multiple people, then feeling sorry for herself because she wasn't sure what real love was. I felt quite sorry for her really. But the fact that Anais Nin reflects some of her experiences and/or thoughts and feelings into this book, makes it all the more enticing to read. She's an interesting women and author.