21 of 23 people found the following review helpful
Refreshing, even 50 years later!,
By A Customer
This review is from: Carol (Paperback)
For those familiar with Highsmith's more renowned tales of murder and intrigue, this has a refreshingly different theme, quite starkly autobiographical, and rather brave for the times it was written in. This was only her second novel, but already her distinctive style was already established - a crisp, compelling and no-nonsense style of writing that sets it apart.
Young Therese meets Carol, a customer at the doll department in Frankenbergs where she works. This fleeting encounter is described by Therese as a vision, a sudden realisation of one's desires in another. In this story, she and Carol meet, become friends and later on, become lovers during a road trip they take together right across America.
It is a very sensitively written portrayal of love, at a time when such relationships were considered degenerate and as Highsmith said herself, most fiction pertaining to the subject ended in dissolution and tragedy. Here was a refreshing outlook to a previously controversial subject, and her treatment of it was bold and wonderfully low-key, tasteful and un-sensationalist. For that reason, I think it deserves the 5 stars. I also like the depiction of personal revelations of love, which do not consider the usual, hackneyed questions of "Is this perverse?" but then later on, goes on to challenge the perceptions of the world and so-called respectable society.