Read Desert of the Heart by Jane Rule Online


Two women meet and fall in love in Reno, Nevada. This classic of lesbian eroticism is Jane Rule's first novel.Set in the late 1950s, this is the story of Evelyn Hall, an English professor, who goes to Reno to obtain a divorce and put an end to her disastrous 16-year marriage. While staying at a boarding house to establish her six-week residency requirement she meets Ann ChTwo women meet and fall in love in Reno, Nevada. This classic of lesbian eroticism is Jane Rule's first novel.Set in the late 1950s, this is the story of Evelyn Hall, an English professor, who goes to Reno to obtain a divorce and put an end to her disastrous 16-year marriage. While staying at a boarding house to establish her six-week residency requirement she meets Ann Childs, a casino worker and fifteen years her junior. Physically, they are remarkably alike and eventually have an affair and begin the struggle to figure out just how a relationship between two women can last. Desert of the Heart examines the conflict between convention and freedom and the ways in which the characters try to resolve the conflict....

Title : Desert of the Heart
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9781594930355
Format Type : Paperback
Number of Pages : 191 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

Desert of the Heart Reviews

  • Rachel Hall
    2019-02-17 05:16

    Desert of the Heart is a groundbreaking novel in the context of lesbian literature. Written in 1961 and eventually published in 1964, albeit after significant changes, this novel marked Jane Rule out as a visionary and a spokesperson for a generation of lesbians, daring to defy the idea that marriage is a ticket to normality. Desert of the Hearts is a wise and witty novel that in essence tells the story of English professor, Dr Evelyn Hall, and her desire to be free of the confines of a marriage and live as an independent woman. Set in the 1950s, the story opens with Mrs Evelyn Hall taking a flight from her home in California to the ‘divorce capital’ of Reno, Nevada. She touches down in the swelteringly desert ahead of finalising her divorce with a six-week residency requirement at the boarding house of Mrs Frances Packer ahead of her. Marriage for Evelyn is an “ill-fitting uniform” and she has a rather matter of fact attitude to her incompatibility with her husband of sixteen-years, George, with her marriage proving more “difficult than her PhD to both achieve and maintain”. In debt, unemployed and having given up the facade of working on his thesis, Evelyn financially keeps George, and they have not seen in public together for over five-years. Much of the early story is an internal monologue from Evelyn and battle with her own inhibitions and the opening lines of the novel set a provocative tone:“Conventions, like cliches, have a way of surviving their own usefulness. They are then excused or defended as the idioms of living. For everyone, foreign by birth or by nature, convention is a mark of fluency. That is why, for any woman, marriage is the idiom of life.”It is at the boarding house of matronly Frances Packer and her impish and high-spirited son, Walter, that Evelyn meets the striking Ann Childs, a quick-witted, perceptive and confident woman fifteen-years her junior. It is their uncanny resemblance to each other that breaks the ice, and this can perhaps be interpreted as a subtle reference to their future shared persuasions. In a ten-gallon hat and rodeo trousers, the first fleeting meeting of the pair sees Ann on route to her night- shift employment, working as a ‘change apron’ in thriving casino, Frank’s Club. Intrigued by Ann’s place within this house it takes time for Evelyn to discover her circumstances, with Frances enlightening her on the death of Ann’s lawyer father, leaving her alone in the world and with Frances acting as a watchful guardian. Ann’s bedroom, lined with bookshelves, offers a home from home to Evelyn, and as she waits for Ann to return from her work, she immerses herself in Ann’s private thoughts. It is on one of these nights that Ann first shows her drawings and cartoons to Evelyn, before opening her heart and sharing her private sketchbook, ‘Eve’s Apple’. The connection between the two in instant and the fascination mutual, despite their very different paths in life, however the often philosophical discussions about their circumstances show that Ann is every bit as intelligent as Evelyn. Rule makes much of the casino workplace of Ann, with the occasionally crude burlesque beauty, Silver, her closet ally. It is Silver who first broaches the idea of lesbianism openly and her tongue-in-cheek advice to Ann to “just relax and enjoy her” when she is assigned a trainee to supervise and her veiled references to Evelyn as a “mother figure of the moment” are the most unequivocal references. Boss at the casino, Bill, is awkward in the company of Ann, a woman whom he loved but who felt unable to make or share a life with him and her rejection has left him smarting. Having engaged with both Bill and Silver on occasions, is it Ann that is more comfortable with her own sexuality to the significantly older Evelyn. However, Desert of the Heart does not speak explicitly of lesbianism. Despite Evelyn’s description of a close friendship with her wartime neighbour, Carol, she appears to have never actively considered the idea of her sexuality, if anything she is more inclined to refer to the concept of “latent homosexuality”. Evelyn’s idea of womanhood is tied to the idea of reproduction and there is some implication that Evelyn subscribes to the theory that every woman longs for her own child. Initially awkward and reluctant to confront their feelings, Rule paints the first overtures as the rather less than wholesome Evelyn’s longing for a child, finding a ready made replacement in Ann, and Ann’s desire for a mother figure. I suspect these aspects were required to dilute the idea that lesbian love could ever be an accepted choice as opposed to a situation that has been enforced by problems specific to an individuals psyche, but these aspects do belittle the power of the story.Evelyn’s first visit to lawyer, Arthur Williams, is surprisingly short and with only one further meeting necessary before the court date she is shocked by the simplicity of gaining a divorce. Evelyn is truthful and states her and George’s incompatibility but Mr Williams bombards her with questions pertaining to mental cruelty, medical ailments or George having embarrassed her in public but Evelyn acknowledges that, if anything, it is George that has suffered the most in a union that has left him feeling inadequate and undermined. As the end of Evelyn’s six weeks draws closer, both Evelyn and Ann find themselves forced to contemplating everything from fidelity and the vows of marriage. Things come to a head when Ann’s jilted ex, Bill, threatens to intervene and cause disruption to both women’s lives. Rule poses the question of whether Ann would ever leave her desert home and the importance of Evelyn’s academic career to her sense of self. It is the mostly unspoken and evolving attraction between the two woman that is the focus of Desert of the Heart, but Rule also takes time to ruminate of the isolation of the desert and the strange mix of people that populate and pass through Reno. Reading the novel in 2017 highlights how dated and irrelevant many of the preoccupations are, but it also highlights the necessary discretion between same sex couples that was a requirement of the 1950s era.

  • Bett
    2019-02-21 10:25

    It is a remarkable, perfect little book. It says what it has to say, in the first paragraph, and it ends just as it should. "Conventions, like cliches, have a way of surviving their own usefulness. They are then defended or excused as the idioms of living." This is a book about the conventions we accept as the medium of our lives, most of us without questioning their real value to us. For some people, this makes life an absurdity devoid of meaning. People are born, grow up, go to school, get married, get jobs, raise children, and die. This book examines the absurdity of this idiom for some people. The convention of marriage, for homosexual people, is absurd. The cliche of fidelity and forsaking all others, for some, is meaningless, a promise impossible for humans to keep. The story involves a woman who lived within these conventions all her life, even while feeling emotionally detached, outside them, as if she were speaking a foreign language. She meets another woman who has spent her life deliberately, consciously, living outside these conventions, even though studying them and the effects of trying to live within their boundaries. When these two women begin a relationship, one in defiance of those idioms of Iife, one accepting that their relationship may just be a visit outside the lines for her partner, the tension comes when each must acknowledge that what she thought about Iiving inside and outside those boundaries may not be true. For Evelyn Hall, respectable college professor, stepping outside the conventions of her life forces her to examine them and question what she never before doubted, that women are supposed to marry, have children, and that she has failed because she played poorly at this game. She is forced to examine the basis for her assumptions about morality and love. Ann Childs is forced to explore whether the cliches about love, the ones she has defied and dismissed all her life, might not hold some truth. If she accepts that she does love Evelyn, does that mean then that she must accept the other cliches about love that she has denied, that some of them might indeed be real and achievable, like fidelity, like "forsaking all others?" There is an argument posed in the book about whether the human will or its nature influences us to choose or deny love. Is it our nature to marry men, bear children, and is it unnatural to seek love outside those accepted parameters? Is it our will, our intellect, that allows us to explore love outside the accepted convention of heterosexuality? Is it the will that bends us into the conventions of life, subduing our nature, which seeks out love wherever it may? Are those established conventions, old and worn, there to protect us from our nature or to bend our will away from our natural inclinations? If, in admitting and accepting her love for Ann, Evelyn is responding to her own nature, long denied, what does that say about the foundations on which her life was lived? This book is so well put together that I could not remove one line, one sentence, without unbalancing the whole. The movie that was based upon this book left out a great deal and added elements that are not there. It is set in the early 1960's, and does a fine job of conveying the flavor of that period with the music and the fashions and the automobiles. Instead of portraying Ann Childs as an intellectual, she is shown as rebellious, wild, promiscuous, and unaware of herself until she falls in love with Evelyn. Evelyn is shown as reserved and appalled at Ann's wildness, shocked, until she gives in to her own inner nature and makes love with Ann. And the movie does hold true to the theme of accepting love in whatever form you find it, for its own sake. I find almost none of the original, beautiful lines from the book in the dialogue of the movie. Jane Rule is a remarkable writer. If my own writing has been influenced by hers, consciously or unconsciously, I could find no other guide.

  • CaseyTheCanadianLesbrarian
    2019-02-04 06:11

    It’s easy to forget when you’re reading Desert of the Heart, by American-turned Canadian author Jane Rule, that it was actually published in 1964. But it is essential to remember, because it’s astonishing, really, that this kind of lesbian novel was even published (in hardcover no less) at a time when cheap paperback lesbian pulp novels—with appropriately depressing endings—were the only kind of contemporary books available with queer women’s content. It’s not only that the novel doesn’t condemn either of the women for their desire, although that is significant; it’s that Desert of the Heart presents a startlingly psychologically complex reading of a lesbian relationship. Rule, who passed away in 2007, should really be heralded as one of the key lesbian writers who paved the way for and began what we currently call queer women’s literature.Evelyn and Ann are the two lovers at the centre of the story, but that is much too simple a description of their relationship... See the rest of my review at my website: http://caseythecanadianlesbrarian.wor...

  • Linda
    2019-02-14 07:27

    I'd seen the movie, "Desert Hearts," but never got around to reading the book that was the basis for the movie. Though written in 1963, it has a 1950's feel to the story. It's kind of odd today to read characters so casually consuming large amounts of alcohol and the cavalier attitude toward smoking. But, that aside, it's an interesting picture of an older woman coming out (though not in the same sense we think of today) and falling in love with a younger woman.It's somewhat dry with none of the overt passion one might expect from the description. The relationship appears almost without any time passing at all. I guess the "U-Haul" stereotype was true even back then.It's an interesting book but not a great one. Worth reading though.

  • Anja
    2019-01-25 06:19

    This book reminds me a lot of a typical Woody Allen movie. There is so much talking going on (which is hard to follow sometimes). It's an okay story but it seems a little outdated sometimes. The characters are a little too complex and one-sided for my taste. It's well written but still there was no spark

  • Vicky
    2019-02-22 08:25

    Evelyn Hall is an English professor from California who is looking for a quick divorce so that's why she goes to Reno for a while, so she lives in the same house as Ann Childs, who is 25 and strikingly resembles Evelyn, who works evenings at a casino in Reno, and draws cartoons for magazines like the New Yorker. This older-younger literary-type relationship kept making me think of Anne and Flannery from Sylvia Brownrigg's Pages For You, which was a more exciting experience to read, I feel.The novel spends a lot of time thinking of marriage and children in a somewhat irritating way. Evelyn is unhappy with her marriage to a weak-willed man, and sad a bit that she doesn't have children of her own. Ann has some kind of complex about sleeping with women to rid herself of the mother she never quite knew. They both perceive each other in partly a mother-daughter way, partly a lover-lover way, and the build-up of this was not satisfying. Silver—Ann's friend/sometimes-lover—has been sleeping with women but ultimately decides to marry a man. Whatever.Deserts, casinos, mentioning Ann as a cartoonist and Evelyn as a professor but hardly going into details about their jobs/interests, and I was cringing near the end when Evelyn became attached and jealous around Ann, like following her to her job [cringe]. Etc. It is an ok read, I guess.

  • Steph
    2019-01-27 05:39

    I read this on a train ride out west; my first time visiting the desert. Perhaps the vast Nevada landscape of this book is a world apart from the rocky deserts of Colorado and Utah (my destinations). But to a New Englander, they are just alike, and I loved reading Desert of the Heart while experiencing a sense of its setting firsthand.I saw the film adaptation, Desert Hearts, several years ago. My memory of it is pretty foggy, but what lingers is the sense of place. The endless empty sky and sand are intimidating to protagonist Evelyn, and a comfort to her love interest, the younger Ann. And despite the timelessness of the desert, the semi-oppressive early 1960s setting stands out, too.Ann is a little bit lost, but confident in her intention "to love the whole damned world." This sentiment is something that Evelyn, recovering from a mutually destructive hetero relationship, cannot share."I live in the desert of the heart," Evelyn said quietly. "I can't love the whole damned world."Everyone in this book is a bit damaged and sad. That's a given; shocking things happen to side characters, but not for shock value. It's just the brutality of life; more things to be survived.In keeping with the setting, the writing is a bit dry. The characters talk to themselves a lot, and there are pages and pages of interior monologue. But it didn't bother me; this is an introspective story, so the musings make sense.I was surprised by how very romantic this book is. I don't remember rooting for the characters in the movie, but the book versions of Evelyn and Ann seeped into me. In spite of the disapproval of suspecting acquaintances, and in the midst of that sweaty desert heat, they come alive. And I can't see them anywhere else but in that empty desert, together."I sometimes think I can forecast the weather in your eyes," Evelyn said."What's your prediction?""Hot and clear."

  • Kathryn
    2019-01-25 02:15

    If you have seen the film Desert Hearts, on which the book is based, and have it mind to read the book, know that there are quite a few differences. Where Roger Ebert took points off on the movie for its simplicity, the book offers a more complex character study of Evelyn Hall (called Vivian in the film). It's been years since I saw film and I remember the basic plot, the core of which stays true to the book. Evelyn comes to Reno in the 1950s for a brief residency in order to satisfy requirements for a quick divorce. Her existence there is quiet and frustrating due to limited resources for intellectual stimulation. She maintains cordial relationships with her landlady and his son, but finds something deeper with Ann Childs, a young woman of means who works at the local casino, ostensibly for something to do.The concept of time is a major theme in this story - Evelyn as a temporary resident, the time running out for her unsuccessful marriage, and Ann's tendency to cut romantic relationships short. While the movie implies their romance progressed with some reluctance on Evelyn's part, the book shows the woman better equipped to handle their feelings for the other. The literary style of the narrative gives great depth to the people in this story, and Rule creates a vivid and timeless sense of place. Many people here have remarked that they couldn't believe this book was originally written in 1964. Nearly fifty years later, the story remains fresh.

  • Gerd
    2019-02-23 06:27

    I didn't like that book one bit, it's terribly written with not one likeable character to support the story.Rule does care little for her story and burdens it with unneeded symbolism and popular psychology to make what she has to say sound more important. Her main characters are painted in a realistic way but every single women in the book is shown as being possessed by an anti-social, self-destructive trait and in that massing up of psychological angst the book begins to sound just as phony as the forced way her characters use to talk to each other.What amazed me is the open contempt, for women in general and married women in special, running through the book.The whole message of the book sounds like "Women marry because they believe that to be what they have to do, and only the crazy ones like it"Maybe it's the 50 years age gap, maybe it's a nationality thing, but her views on conventions are just as outdated as the convetions she's ranting about. In the end the book proved to be mostly a waste of time written by a woman that seemingly needed to vent her frustations and hatred for society and women that are contend to live within its confines.It's a wonder how a book filled with such vile hatred towards the roles women (some willfully) play within society could bring out such a wonderful movie.If 'Desert of the Hearts' truly is Jane Rules best book as the backcover claims, I can savely say that I don't like her.

  • Kim
    2019-02-19 05:29

    This book bears little resemblance to the movie ‘Desert Hearts’. The movie takes some of the key plot points from the book, but the book is much richer in character, plot and depth. All the elements of the book: the place, the people, the settings, the emotions and the underlying artifice of the plot present a truly human, authentic and living view of the complexities that underline all our interactions and relationships.I met Jane Rule many, many years ago and it was just a passing interaction I had with her, but my impression of her was authentic, as well. In fact, meeting her compelled me to read this book. As a very young lesbian, easily impressed with any outward display of lesbianism (we’re talking late 70’s here) this book gave more gravitas and confidence to my sexuality. Sexuality was complicated and it wasn’t just a black and white endeavor. People struggled with their feelings, their self-image and how to express that or explain it to themselves. It was the interiors, the reflections that gave life its propulsion, its involvement and tension.I am so glad that I reread this book after so many years. It means so much more to me now. It means so much different to me now. Reading it again through a longer lens, an older lens, with so much more experience and knowledge of myself I found so much more to value it for. Yet, its value remains so much more the same.

  • T.B. Markinson
    2019-01-29 03:18

    DESERT OF THE HEART is a heartfelt story that digs beneath the surface of the characters, showing warts and all.

  • Lily Mason
    2019-02-03 06:13

    Brief summary: English Professor Evelyn Hall comes to Reno for six weeks to establish residency in order to obtain a "quickie divorce." While staying at a local bed and breakfast, she falls in love with Ann Childs, a change girl at a local casino and foster daughter of the B&B's owner Frances. I never thought I'd say this, but: don't read this book without first seeing the movie.I know saying something like that ruffles the feathers of any bibliophile, to say the least, but I suggest watching the movie first (it's on Netflix) because doing so accounts for the deficiencies of the book and makes it a more whole experience. The movie is no great cinematic feat, and the book is no literary masterpiece. Alone, they are forgettable, but paired together, they create a profound emotional and intellectual experience. Jane Rule is a talented writer, but her talent lies not in describing places, actions, and characters, rather in subtle and nuanced emotions, thoughts, and relational dynamics and drives. Without the setting -- place, time, buildings, physical traits of characters, etc -- the movie provided, I would have been completely disinterested and the beautiful subtleties of the book would have been lost to me. There are a few esoteric and dull passages about morality, the nature of Man, and the conventions of marriage, but otherwise the book captures attention. For its time, it was groundbreaking, and the lack of explicit sex scenes in the book where the movie was so bold is disappointing, but understandable. All in all a great read if you've got a few images to let the book unfold into.

  • Kirsten
    2019-01-25 07:21

    I'm reading this book because of the recommendation of my cousin but I have to say, so far I'm finding it just weird. I think it's because it's set in the early 60's, maybe even late 50's, and being a lesbian must have been connected with a lot of guilt and loneliness and damnation. At least, those seem to be the not so subtle themes of this book. The author spends lots of time talking about hot it is in Reno (apparently people lived there before A/C), and how the desert is scary to Evelyn, the older academic who is there to get a divorce. It also talks a lot about how Ann, the younger woman, is not afraid of damnation and wants to just enjoy life. So, from a historical, analytical point of view (since I don't read lesbian fiction just for brain candy), it must have been not much fun to be a lesbian at the time. These two women got together anyway, but it just doesn't seem fun or fulfilling to them, either. Another woman in the book commits suicide because she just can't stand being away from her kid for the 6 weeks it takes her to get her divorce. And a little baby dies. They go swim in a lake that's dead. It's a very dark book in that respect, and yet, we constantly hear about how hot and sunny it is. It sounds like an indirect description of hell to me. Oh, and they drink alcohol and smoke cigarettes all the time, like in Mad Men, and wonder why they are unhappy. Weird. Glad I didn't live then, but I'll try and finish it because I want to see if they end up together and go back to California.

  • Sheela Word
    2019-01-25 07:28

    Extremely well-written lesbian romance set in 1960's Reno. One protagonist is a buttoned-up middle-aged college professor ending a disastrous long-time marriage. The other is a talented and tormented free spirit who spends her nights working as a change girl in a casino. Their connection develops delicately over time.I particularly liked the casino scenes, which seemed very authentic, and I liked that all the secondary characters seemed like real people, with quirks and hidden stories of their own. Nobody seemed flat, cartoonish, or even dismissable.This is a literary novel, with emphasis on perceptions, motivations, and choices rather than overt actions. Not much happens, and a lot happens.

  • Ab
    2019-02-17 03:36

    My high rating just *might* be due, in part, to the fact that the movie, "Desert Hearts", is awesome. But otherwise, the book was really good! Well-written (it's a toss-up with some of these queer fiction books), not overly ridiculous in the emotions category (sometimes these books gush too much and just get silly), and intelligent about figuring oneself out and dealing with things like divorcing a husband of 16 years (Evelyn is totally morphing into a stronger woman who can feel okay with not needing a man, throughout the story). Anyway, a good read!

  • Natasha (Diarist) Holme
    2019-02-11 10:21

    I enjoyed it. No doubt I would have enjoyed it far more had I been a pre-women's lib, pre-gay rights lesbian in 1964, when the book was published, though. It's remarkably timeless and free-spirited. Jane Rule must have saved numerous lives and minds with the publication of this book.There's a verbose literary writing style that is at times entertaining and at times in the way of the story's progression. I didn't feel an affinity with the characters, but I did care what happened to them.

  • Kristina
    2019-01-25 03:24

    It's important to remember while your reading this that it was published in the 60's because to me that is the significant part, that this book is happy and gay and good and doesn't have that god awful tragic ending that all LGBT media tends to have and makes me die a little inside. This was good, the beginning was a little slow but once I was into it I was INTO it. It's a good little book.

  • Ellinor
    2019-01-27 04:26

    An instant favourite. I love how the feelings of each of the two main characters are portrayed, you get such a deep emotional connection to the both of them, despite the fact that storywise very little happens. It's a book that takes place on the emotional plane and I love it.

  • Mia Tryst
    2019-01-23 09:30

    I just read this 1964 book for the first time. I had seen the movie ages ago, and it was okay - The character, Cay Rivvers played by Patricia Charbonneau got on my nerves. Her carefree-attitude seemed a little too glib and prepared while I appreciated the quiet, reserved role of Vivian Bell played by Helen Shaver. The book, I have mixed feeling about it. I think there's this oddity about it, the uptightness that counters the matter-of-fact attitude when Vivian discovers her lesbian identity. Perhaps my biggest problem with the story is that the characters are too diametrically opposite making them one-dimensional rather than fleshed out. I don't know, maybe it's too outdated for me. Jane Rule was after all writing in a time when homosexuality was certainly taboo. Still, it is a classic and should be read.

  • V.T. Davy
    2019-02-06 09:31

    I was surprised that this book was written in 1964. It feels more assured and less “furtive” than it should for that date. The story is strong and the book is at its best when it is detailing the blossoming romance between Evelyn and Ann. Rule is also great at describing places and she gets a real sense of Reno and its environs. Where I think the book is weak is when Rule allows herself to indulge in poetry and stretches her prose a bit too far. She can also be polemical and sometimes the forays onto her soapbox seem shoehorned into the narrative. For all that, I enjoyed it because Ann and Evelyn are such strong characters.

  • Mickey Schulz
    2019-01-23 10:26

    This was the first lesbian fiction I ever read. We watched the movie in an LGBTQ youth support group I was in just out of high school, and then went and read the book. While it isn't exactly my cup of tea, being more like a contemporary romance than anything else, it was well-written with well developed characters. As well as being eye-opening to someone who was struggling with her own lifelong attraction to women as well as men.

  • Sara
    2019-01-31 10:27

    I couldn't even finish this book. I appreciate that it is canonical, having had a great premise, but the author has difficulty making her characters interesting and progressing beyond circular blabber. I knew it was going to be different than the movie and I hoped that it would flesh out those loveable peeps in giving them more substance but none of the charm is visible because it is so dryly written.

  • Carla
    2019-01-28 10:22

    First off, this cover is awesome. The movie version of this book was not so good... I really like how the main character works in a casino and has to wear a very heavy vest to carry all the change; so heavy that she can scarcely keep her balance. This book has a real southwest spirit (not that I'd know), and I love how sexy the lesbian romance is.

  • Cat
    2019-02-01 08:28

    reminded me a bit of the price of salt, except 20384029348029348x more well written. lovely story; i especially enjoyed it because my #2 goal in life is to bag me an older woman, just as ann looking foreward to the movie, as well.

  • Jen Silver
    2019-02-15 07:13

    I have just re-read this book again. Another oldie from my bookshelves - the version published by Silver Moon Books. I had forgotten how much of the book dealt with gambling - and also how much was changed in the movie. However it is a good read and very descriptive of the 50s era.

  • Springuyen
    2019-02-06 03:17

    At times, self consciously literary. Overall, very well written. In a post-Mad Men world, very easy to visualize Reno in the early 60's.

  • Shannon Cate
    2019-01-26 05:41

    Sooooooo much better than the really bad movie.

  • Becko
    2019-02-13 07:25

    book is much better than the movie - have read it many times

  • Ruth Marner
    2019-02-10 02:11

    Okay, you can't be a lesbian without reading this book. I mean, what are you waiting for?

  • Rachel
    2019-02-22 05:31

    This book has its flaws, but emotionally it came at a time when I desperately needed it. Anne and Evelyn's relationship is complex and nuanced, easily deals with queerness, morality, passion, freedom. The difference in their perspectives is wonderful: Evelyn is reserved, perceptive, and empathetic, while Ann is passionate, self-absorbed, and rebellious. Most of the secondary characters get a fair treatment, though I think Silver and the landlady's son are a bit under-served. My only major complaint is the dialogue- it is too flowery, poetic, and nuanced to feel believable as conversation, especially the dialogue between Ann and Evelyn. Despite that though, it is a sweet, emotional and quick read. I highly recommend it for anyone interested in diverse depictions of love and attraction- the book presents romance and sex in configurations outside of traditional pairings.