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3.5 out of 5 stars
First Resort
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 19 March 1999
The so-called Thoughtful Reader from Toronto is either a personal friend of the so-called author of this book or the author herself. This book will be used in one of my graduate classes next semester as an example of oppression and class systems among lesbians. As for the woman who read Park Webster as black because of her dialogue, all I can say is that, as an African-American woman myself, that is an incredibly racist statement. To make those kinds of assumptions based on generic speech patterns is the epitome of elitism and is the whole problem with Nanci Little and her readership.
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on 14 March 1999
I've read all three of Nanci Little's novels - THIN FIRE, A GRASS WIDOW, and now the terrific FIRST RESORT. Each time, I've been so moved by Little's writing that I've gone back to the book over and over, and read it multiple times. In fact, I loved FIRST RESORT so much that I actually read it TWICE in one week! And I'll undoubtedly revisit it again in a few months. Meanwhile, I'm buying copies for friends. Like Little's other books, FIRST RESORT is a story of great depth and complexity. It unfolds slowly and tenderly, as Little gently reveals the central characters: Jordan (the lesbian golf pro of a Maine golf resort) and a heterosexual widow & resort guest named Gillian. Each is a survivor of great personal trauma. They lovingly help each other to face their personal herstories, while developing a wonderful friendship and learning to move forward, toward their happy endings. I also enjoyed some of the supporting characters a lot - especially two lesbian friends, Gillie's daughter, and Jordan's uncle. (It's nice to see a lesbian novel with such a fully-formed, positive male character! In fact, that's one of the things I like most about Little's books - the fact that she includes fully complete and positive characters of BOTH genders.)I don't want to deprive any potential readers of coming to know the central women or the supporting cast via Little's exquisite writing, so I won't say much more about them. But they are so wonderfully drawn that I absolutely hated to see the book end, and I would welcome more stories featuring Jordan and Gillian. -- Jordan, especially, is one of the most ethical and wonderful characters I've seen in a book in the past year. I wish the world had more Jordans! I'm also impressed by the way that Ms. Little handled some very powerful and sensitive themes, such as physical abuse, sexism, homophobia, and the impact of alcohol in our community.To sum, I absolutely loved this book! At the end of this beautiful story, I felt warmed, happy, and utterly satisfied. I can't wait for another novel from this incredibly talented writer. We need more books by women of her caliber!
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on 9 February 1999
I've read all three of Nanci Little's novels - THIN FIRE, A GRASS WIDOW, and now theterrific FIRST RESORT. Each time, I've been so moved by Little's writing that I've gone backto the book over and over, and read it multiple times. In fact, I loved FIRST RESORT somuch that I actually read it TWICE in one week! And I'll undoubtedly revisit it again in afew months. Meanwhile, I'm buying copies for friends. // Like Little's other books, FIRSTRESORT is a story of great depth and complexity. It unfolds slowly and tenderly, as Little gently reveals the central characters: Jordan (the lesbian golf pro of a Maine golf resort)and a heterosexual widow & resort guest named Gillian. Each is a survivor of greatpersonal trauma. They lovingly help each other to face their personal herstories, whiledeveloping a wonderful friendship and learning to move forward, toward their happy endings. // I don't want to deprive any potential readers of coming to know these women via Little's exquisite writing, so I won't say anything more about them. But they are so wonderfully drawn that I absolutely hated to see the book end, and I would welcome more stories featuring these characters. // I can't understand the reviewer who criticized this book so virulently. We must have read different novels, because those criticisms strike me as completely unfounded. First off, Jordan is NOT Gillian's therapist - the two women have a loving friendship. If anything, Jordan is one of the most ethical characters I've seen in a book in the past year. I wish the world had more Jordans. And, while there IS a lot of alcohol consumed, it's completely consistent with these women's stories. In my opinion, their use of alcohol is a theme that Ms. Little addresses quite effectively and realistically, and I was pleased by that aspect of the story. // To sum, I loved this book. At the end, I felt warmed, happy, and utterly satisfied. I can't wait for another novel from this incredibly talented writer. We need more books by women of her caliber!
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on 5 February 1999
***** Below is a synopsis of FIRST RESORT and quotes from two reviews by lesbian/gay publications about this book. FIRST RESORT is in print and has been available since for sale since Dec. 12, 1998! M. Gillon, Publisher.
************ FIRST RESORT by Nanci Little ********
At twenty-five, Jordan Bryant was a rising star on the LPGA tour. At forty, those dreams a distant and painful memory, she maintains an almost clinical distance between herself and the people she meets at Catawamteak, the grand resort on the coast of Maine where she is Director of Golf . . . until she meets Gillian Benson.
Widowed and left wealthy by a husband "the whole town knew was an abusive, philandering bastard," Gillian comes to Maine in search of a piece of summer, or perhaps a summer of peace: to Catawamteak, with its acres of oceans and tides of sweet-mown grass . . . openness with as few limits as her newfound freedom.
First Resort is a meticulous exploration of the growth of the bonds of affection, love, and friendship between women.
************ REVEIWS
"As she did with her earlier novels, Thin Fire and The Grass Widow, Nanci Little creates a completely credible universe, peoples it with unforgettable individuals, and invites us along for the emotionally charged ride. First Resort is an extraordinary exploration of friendship between a lesbian and a straight woman. Little's characters become our friends too, women and men who live on in our memories and in our hearts.
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on 29 January 1999
I read this book at the suggestion of a co-worker who is familiar with Ms. Little's work. The author is adept at setting a scene, but the character development is either lacking entirely or so overblown as to be literally incredible. I did not believe for one page that Jordan, the central character, was either credible or realistic. The issue of domestic violence is juxtaposed against extravagant wealth, and Ms. Little does well to indicate that the existence of one does not exclude the other. However, even as a lay person unfamiliar with the specifics of the issue, I was aghast at the role that drinking plays in this book. It seems that on every page some character is either drinking alcohol, thinking about it, wishing for it or "tasting her drink", which may be the most overused line in the book next to "ogod". I also question the ethics of a purported therapist having sexual relations with a woman whom she has essentially been counseling. There is a disturbing undercurrent to the relationship between the central characters, one that left this reader very uncomfortable with the story as a whole. I found "First Resort" to be populated with tedious characters speaking annoying dialogue, set against some of the best scenery possible. From what my co-worker told me, Ms. Little's earlier works are far better than this one: too bad those books are no longer in print. Bottom line...Don't check into "First Resort"...it isn't worth the stay.
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on 30 March 1999
With great anticipation, I anxiously awaited the release of this third book from the writer who has become my favorite author since I read her first novel "Thin Fire" three years ago. Her writing in that book moved me to tears because she writes like she really knows her readers. In fact, she inspired me to become a writer too, though I have a long road to travel before I become that good. :-) Her second book was a western and even though I don't like westerns I was still deeply touched by the story which rang deep emotional bells for me. I read these books so much I had to buy new copies! I had waited a long time for this book excited about what the story would be, eager to hear more from her and learn more about myself, too,which is how her books effect me. Sad to say I had a hard time reading "First Resort" and could not relate to it on a deep personally emotional level because it is not like her first book. She still uses lots of descriptions but I could not relate to the story or the people very much. I have seen this happen before with other writers that I liked that became more remote to me with each new book. I hate to see that happen to Nanci Little because she used to write such good books. Oh well, every one is entitled to a stinker now and then. :-) I just hope this is her only one for her sake and mine.
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on 17 March 1999
I found this book too long and distracted with secondary details that had no relevance to the plot at all, what plot there is. This book is more drawn out exercise in college-level creative writing than a critical novel, especially one that is the author's third. It is almost as if this book wants to be two or three different books with the same character but the author decided to cram it all into one. I was initially drawn by the subject of golf as I believe this is one sport where the issue of a gay presence has been stifled or ignored. Miss Little does little to address this issue. I suggest Rita Mae Brown's "Sudden Death" for readers who want a good portrayal of lesbians in professional sports.
I have golfed ever since college and I was disappointed that the depictions of this most engaging of sports was so static and contrived. There were more convolutions than logic can support. Miss Little has potential to create great novels and is quite capable at setting mood, however this third novel does not meet her potential. Perhaps her next effort will showcase more of her talent and less rote recitation of psychology textbooks and recycled 1970's "Golf Digest" tips.
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on 4 March 1999
Girls, I've been thumped on, I've golfed (a lot, and this book is spot on in that regard) and I've been up under the hands of more than one good massage therapist, and I'll tell you, Nanci Little's got it all right. I know I wasn't the first one to get all curled up tight on a massage table and I know I won't be the last, and this author gives up how it is to be there. Jordan Bryant has good hands and a good heart, and I believe in her even if she does seem too good to be true. There's such a thing as compulsive overachievement. She's driven. Nobody believes my resume either. Two words for them who don't.
This book works. Let loose a bag of marbles across a hardwood floor and they'll roll like the words of Nanci Little, smooth and easy and making you believe in the end. The girl's good. Never mind those low-star reviews later on down this page. You got enough age on you to have learned how to think, you and this book are going to get along. Not to mention you might need a shower before it's over. Takes her a while to get that oven up and running, but when she does, she cooks!
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on 7 February 1999
As a reader of the book, I admit I read the previous reviews before deigning to pen my own. I feel that the writer from Augusta, Me must have some personal vendetta against Ms. Little as I can honestly say I do not even recognize this book as the same one I just read. As a "straight" female, who picked it up because the eye-catching cover really caught my attention (I'm a golfer), I was at first suprised by the content and then caught up in the excellent writing of Ms. Little. She is adept at creating a scene, and the central character, Jordan, is wonderfully written. Although I have never considered myself anything but "straight", I found I wished Jordan a friend I knew in real life. I thought her relationship with Gillie to be most plausible and possible, and given the circumstances of the storyline, very understandable. Ms. Little has written a book well worth reading and I certainly recommend it to anyone, gay or straight, golfer or non-golfer, as a wonderfully written work of fiction with a very thought-provoking storyline.
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on 8 March 1999
Maybe lesbians have so few options for "romance" novels that we are stuck with this sort of tripe. My roomie read this book and hated it. I hated it too but for different reasons. I expect characters that can be respected and certainly from a lesbian author I expect characters that reflect our diversity as a community. For this publisher to have published a book that is devoid of any diversity of race, economics, size or social class is highly irresponsible in this day and age. Once again we are subjected to a non-stop parade of wealthy white women of priviledge. As usual, all sexually desirable women are physically attractive and all the men, without exception, are either abusive, insensitive or sexually predatory. None of this is really surprising since the author lives in Maine which is one of the most oppressive states in the country. Even so the publisher has a responsibility to its readership and publishing this book is irresponsibility at the utmost. Don't support it by buying this elitist fairy tale.
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