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Uproariously funny and provocative, tender and life-affirming, this is Kathy Lette at her very best.

1) Buy hummus
2) Pay Pilates teacher
3) Find prostitute for son...

When it comes to sex, even the best laid plans come unstuck – in the stickiest way possible

As a crossword-addicted English teacher, Lucy never expected to be arrested for kerb-crawling. But her autistic twenty-year-old son Merlin is desperate to lose his virginity, and a prostitute seems like the only option . . . only Lucy picks up an undercover policewoman instead.

Let off with a suspended sentence, Lucy resigns herself to the fact that her son will never have sex, let alone find love… until the morning she miraculously discovers Merlin in bed with a girl.

But is tough, tattooed Kayleigh just taking Merlin for a ride? If so, why? And what has brought Lucy’s snake of an ex-husband wriggling back into their lives?

As all her best laid plans for Merlin’s happiness chaotically unravel, will Lucy ever be able to cut her son’s psychological umbilical cord and start to live her own life? And will the funny, quirky and marvellously magical Merlin ever find real love?

With plenty of comic twists and emotional turns, Kathy Lette’s riotous yet heartrending novel tackles the taboo subject of sex for the ‘differently abled’ – and shows us that when it comes to sex, we all have special needs …


With the wisecracking Lette at the helm, the gags flow thick and fast . . . But it is the thread of seriousness in the writing, the insistence on respecting people as individuals and not labelling them, that makes this an exceptional novel.

Mail on Sunday

With her usual mixture of huge heart and humour she rips the stigma out of autism

Ruby Wax

Deliciously rude and darkly funny, but with compassion and humanity at its heart. Read with relish.

Nicole Kidman

A novel that'll have you laughing and crying


Alternately hilarious and heart-breaking, I loved every minute I spent reading this.

The Daily Mail

Kathy Lette can turn from raunchy farce to the most tender emotion in a trice: this unputdownable book wrenches the heart and the laugh muscles with stunning panache.

Stephen Fry

An important and poignant subject - a mother’s search for the perfect girlfriend for her grown-up son with autism - that is also a hilarious and entertaining page- turner, written with Lette’s inimitable irreverence, brio and wit.

Jill Dawson

For the good of your immortal soul, and all your other vital organs, read this deeply touching tale.

Billy Connolly

A winning blend of tenderness and hilarity

The Sydney Morning Herald

As her fans will expect and newcomers discover, this tale is perspicacious, pithy and witty. A tale of mother love which will twang your heart strings before you making you laugh out loud.

Sandi Toksvig

Funny as well as touching


Plenty of Lette's fast-paced, pun-tastic one-liners

Women & Home

A thought-provoking read


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Formats & editions

  • Paperback


    July 16, 2018

    Black Swan

    RRP $26.00

    Online retailers

    • Fishpond
    • Mighty Ape
    • Paper Plus
    • The Warehouse
    • Whitcoulls
    • The Nile

    Find your local bookstore at www.booksellers.co.nz/directory

  • Trade Paperback


    April 18, 2017

    Bantam Press

    320 pages

    RRP $37.00

    Online retailers

    • Fishpond
    • Mighty Ape
    • Paper Plus
    • The Warehouse
    • Whitcoulls
    • The Nile

    Find your local bookstore at www.booksellers.co.nz/directory

  • Hardback


    July 15, 2017

    Bantam Press

    352 pages

    RRP $48.00

    Online retailers

    • Fishpond
    • Mighty Ape
    • Paper Plus
    • The Warehouse
    • Whitcoulls
    • The Nile

    Find your local bookstore at www.booksellers.co.nz/directory

  • EBook


    April 18, 2017

    Transworld Digital

    Online retailers

    • iBooks NZ
    • Amazon Kindle
    • Google Play
    • Kobo
    • Booktopia NZ

    Find your local bookstore at www.booksellers.co.nz/directory


It was never my intention to take my son kerb-crawling to pick up a prostitute. Nope. Kerb-crawling was definitely not on my ‘To Do’ list after ‘Buy hummus, sort sock drawer, do Pilates’.

A mother does many things for her son – running trays up to his bedroom for nothing more serious than a stubbed toe, detecting lost bits of sports kit, secretly completing overdue homework … But soliciting a prostitute shouldn’t be one of them. ‘So, how much to initiate my son sexually?’ are just not the words a bookish, cake-baking, cryptic-crossword-ninja, law-abiding mum of one ever expects to say to a working girl in thigh-high boots and leather hot-pants in the dead of night in a seedy backstreet.

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Kathy Lette: Taking Aim

Let Lette walk you through her remarkable writing career.

Also by Kathy Lette

After the Blues
Courting Trouble
Love Is Blind
Nip 'N' Tuck
Altar Ego
Puberty Blues
Mad Cows
Foetal Attraction
The Boy Who Fell To Earth
Men: A User's Guide
Because I am a Girl
To Love, Honour And Betray


Fifty Shades Darker
The Handmaid's Tale
To Kill A Mockingbird
A Gentleman in Moscow
Echo Burning
The Curious Incident of the Dog In the Night-time
Dragonfly In Amber
The Girl on the Train
The Heart's Invisible Furies
The Road to Little Dribbling
The Narrow Road to the Deep North
The Bear and The Nightingale
Swing Time
Ready Player One
The Light Between Oceans
Animal Farm
A Long Way from Home
The Travelling Cat Chronicles