Brief Candle is a biographical narrative about a college English professor going through male menopause.
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Jake Boswell, a Victorian born in America during the Jazz Age, discovers that he is deeply in love with a trailerhouse girl. This comes after thirty years of good behavior and marriage to the same woman. Finally at the top of the academic ladder, Jake finds himself facing two enormous problems, at home a wife who has become a dipsomaniac, and at work an endless wave of young liberated 'retreads' (trailerhouse girls). Lola, once a lovely and charming companion, has become a migraine disaster; but even so, if Heather Roberts had stayed in her trailerhouse with her two kids and her beer--guzzling and guitar-playing husband, he would (more than likely) have stayed in the rut he had dug for himself.
"At a distance Patty was startling to look at, a Miss America in motion. Up close she was still quite pretty in the face, despite slightly flared nostrils and a rather small, quick mouth. In some ways, she was the classic Midwestern blonde teenager gone to seed."