There’s a novel that I read years ago (late 70’s or early 80’s) from a library in England for which I can no longer remember the author or the title; so if you recognize the content, I’d be a happy camper. 🙂
The only things I can remember are…
1/ It was about mental powers, telepathy, etc
2/ Children developed these abilities at or around puberty (I think). If I remember correctly, the general populace/government reacted badly to these children.
3/ There was a woman scientist who studied these children and came up with a way to synthesize the catalyst, which she then tried on herself and, after a really rough transition, found that she had the same abilities.
3.1/ I’ve also got a vague recollection (so take it with a grain of salt) that other adults who tried to gain these powers died.
4/ The initial symptom of these powers was an increase in sensory perception and intense pleasure – enough to lock the affected person into repeating whatever felt good regardless of what it was doing to them.
4.1/ The woman scientist/doctor who managed to synthesize the activating chemical and used it on herself ended up “making love” to a tree (I’ve got a dim memory of the description of the feel of the bark against her naked skin).
4.2/ Another scene (probably just a paragraph or sentence) had a description of a boy who kept “pleasuring himself” for hours; even though he was now raw and bleeding, he couldn’t stop. (I think this was one of the notes the scientist/doctor compiled about the affected children, rather than being a central theme or character development).
4.3/ The powers allowed the children to feel the emotions of others (though I do not remember if it was limited to others with powers or everyone in general) and they banded together to feel safe/loved/etc. when the rest of the world turned against them due to fear. I don’t remember if it was true telepathy or just extreme empathy.
5/ Once she had the same abilities as the children, the woman scientist joined up with a group of them – presumably to help defend them against the haters.
Beyond that, I have no idea. The only other non-story items I know are…
- I read it late-70’s or early 80’s.
- Given the more grown-up content, it is not likely to be a children’s book; though it could be Teens and older.
I know it’s not much to go on, but it’s been driving me batty trying to remember the title.