Laura Kasischke is the author of four novels and six poetry collections. This fictional work takes the reader into the very intimate thoughts of its main character, Sherry, who is a teacher at Community College.
Sherry and her husband, Jon, are living on their own since their only son Chad left to pursue his education. Even though they have a beautiful home and good careers, Sherry seems rather sad and bored with her life. But on Valentine's Day everything changes for her, however, after she receives an unsigned message from a secret admirer. She and her friend, Sue, try to figure out who might have sent it without success. The messages keep on coming and they keep guessing. She tells her husband, Jon, about this and he, to her surprise, encourages her to have an affair.
Then Sherry runs into a former elementary school friend of her son's. It causes her to remember how she had cared for him as a little boy as he came from a rather troubled home and rekindles a closeness between them. Garrett is enrolled in a mechanics program and he tells Sherry that he thinks the messages were written by his instructor, Bram, who had talked about her to his students.
Sherry begins to believe that Bram has sent her the love notes and this actually leads to a very passionate affair between them. Sherry rents a small apartment which is closer to her work and also provides a place for Bram and her to be together. Talking about the affair with Jon livens up their twenty year marriage and "Be Mine" does not spare details about the erotica that Sherry is experiencing with each of the men.
But it's not just Sherry's sex life that changes. She begins doing things that seem out of character such as missing or going late to work. She visits a local bar and dances with a stranger. And she becomes very concerned about Garrett's announcement that he is going to join the military. Even though he is not her son, she feels responsible for him and his decisions.
The one thing that Sherry really would like to change, however, is the relationship with her son, Chad, who seems distant and unwilling to be close with her. He jealously accuses her of taking Garrett on as an adoptive son.
The storyline becomes more and more complex as events begin to spiral out of Sherry's control. Her quiet and rather boring life turns into a situation here she is at risk of losing absolutely everything that is important to her.
Sherry's frequent observations and perceptions about nature around her seem to parallel some of the relationship and life situations she is experiencing throughout the book.
The author has intertwined intrigue, mystery, violence and sex into a story that, at times, seems totally unbelievable but, at the same time, is somewhat captivating. The ending was a total surprise!
I feel the need to issue a warning that the sexual language and descriptions are very explicit and may, in face, offend some readers.