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In walks the vibrant Alix Dunnevan, ex-concert pianist, mother of two, married to a local bigwig and controlled all her life by her megalomaniac father and then her `chip off the old block' husband. Lynn and Alix soon become friends and allies within the women's group. Lynn quickly realizes the dangers of the `straight woman trap' and repeatedly tries to cool their growing friendship - and herself - down. But each time she pulls back something happens to break through her barriers, and she realizes she is falling in love.
As Alix reveals more of herself, and the unhappiness in her marriage, Lynn's hopes and feelings grow. In a final attempt to step away Lynn admits she has fallen for Alix, who immediately declares her love. But without any real understanding of the consequences will Alex have the strength to leave a controlling husband and risk losing her daughters or leave Lynn broken hearted and foolish for having fallen for a "happily married woman'?
This is a nice, sweet tale of women in the early' 80's, before the ERA, before bra burning had spread to the south - if indeed it ever has. Calling it nice isn't necessarily a criticism. It is just that, a sweet tale of a typical brokenhearted lesbian moving to escape the betrayal and hurt after a seven-year relationship ends. She meets the most interesting and beautiful woman around, they fall in love despite both trying to resist, and the rest of the novel explores their growing relationship, interacting with Lynn's lesbian friends, and the stress and strain they individually and jointly suffer from the pressure, threats and taunts of Alix's husband, father and school friends.
There is nothing shocking, nothing overly dramatic, nothing too sexplicit. The emotions, while seemingly troubled and painful, don't really engage at a deep and meaningful level. While we are told of Alix's anguish and her husband's threats they never seem too harsh or too real.
Perhaps it is the perspective of time, making it hard now to imagine a wealthy white woman in America feeling so threatened by the antics of her husband and father who try to bully her into abandoning her children and wealth, and when that fails try to get her to give up her new lover. But while I liked the characters and thought they were well written and rounded, and while the plot flowed through the ups and downs of a woman coming out, not least to herself, and the changes that entailed, it didn't really touch me.
Gentle, charming, a pleasant way to spend a few hours.
Sexy and gorgeous Alix Dunnevan is married to Charles, a powerful politician. Their marriage is the perfect example of how all marriages should be. Isn't it?
From the outset Lynn is smitten with Alix. She tries her best to put her feelings aside. A friendship develops between the two women and they find they share many of the same interests, including a deep love of music. It becomes harder and harder for Lynn to suppress her feelings for Alix. Even if Alix did share her feelings, the lesbian and the straight woman rarely works out. Plus there is Charles, Lynn knows he will do anything and everything possible to keep Alix and their two daughters with him. As they are to find out, this includes getting Alix committed if he has to.
Lynn searches her soul and tries to find the strength to walk away. Alix has no intentions of allowing this. Her marriage is flawed and far from the perfect ideal the outside world sees. But getting out of her marriage won't be easy. Is it too much to hope for that Lynn and Alix will find a way for them to be together without Alix losing her daughters?
This is an excellent, well written debut book. Had I not known this was Lea Daley's first book, I would never have guessed. Her writing style is unique. She shows, rather than tells the story.
There is a wealth of colorful and wonderful characters all fully formed and essential in progressing the story forward and on to it's climatic conclusion.
The story is actually quite a well used and tested formula. A married woman with two children, straight to all intents and purposes and an out lesbian fall in love. There begins all the trials and tribulations of will they, won't they, be able to make the relationship work. But, this is where the tried and tested formula stops. Lea Daley has woven their story beautifully together and there are a lot of ups and downs and heartfelt scenarios to take the reader on a rollercoaster ride. I hated the character Charles, but he is so well written and he added a great deal of emotion and excitement to the book, albeit in the form of despising him to the point of wanting to hit him. To evoke such emotion in a reader tells me that this author is extremely talented.
I'm looking forward to Lea Daley's next book. Will she be able to top this one? I can't wait to find out.
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