This is a story that steadily gains momentum nearer the end, as the inevitability of the family drama takes center stage. It's an intense love story that we know cannot end well.
My only real gripe is the starkly uncompromising manner in which the two husbands are portrayed: violent, abusive, controlling, drunken and at times vicious, with almost no redeeming features. The book was on the edge of becoming a man-hating rant, which was troubling when told in the voice of a woman who, as a closet lesbian probably should never have married at all. I wanted to cheer for this sensitive, caring woman and her lover, despite the fundamental falsity of both of their marriages. It's necessary, I think to bear in mind the time-frame of the drama, the 1960s, a period when such a relationship between two women would have been so universally condemned.
Best feature of the book: The deep, consistent, complex and convincing development of Billie, the protagonist. 3 1/2 stars.
I really enjoyed this book, wonderfully written. I have never read anything by this author but I am definitely going to read other novels by her.
Stuck in a loveless marriage in the early 60's, Billie Valentine gets a new lease on life when Eva and her family move in next door. At first, the two women support each other through their dysfunctional marriages, but this quickly turns into a deep love between the two women. I love the author's style of writing because it flows so well and the story is told with such emotion. Reading the author's notes at the end of the book, I think this was something that she had experience with in her own family. Perfection, best book I've read in a long time.
I really enjoyed this book. It is the first I have read by this author, but will definitely try to read them all.
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