emmejo, May 2, 2013 (view all comments by emmejo)
I've held off on writing a review for this book because I wasn't sure what I wanted to say. It is a fascinating, captivation portrait of a young woman out of step with her societies' picture of who she should be. It starts with her as the admittedly spoiled child of wealthy parents and continues on through the numerous trails she ends up facing due to her stubborn unwillingness to give up and pretend to conform. Stephen isn't always a likable character, she has too many sharp edges and too much pride and inflexibility which are as likely to hurt those she loves as it is to harm her, but she is compelling and interesting.
Hall's writing is as straight-shooting and passionate as her main character, ignoring the expectation that classic woman's book about a woman with romantic complications should be clever or light. This is the opposite of a Jane Austen-style book. It may be too harsh and desolate, with too few laughs or happy interludes for some readers, but if you like your classics with some grit to them, I would highly recommend this tale.
It might also appeal to Downton Abbey fans who are looking for a more somber rendition of the same time period.
by Random House,
First published in 1928, this timeless portrayal of lesbian love is now a classic. The thinly disguised story of Hall's own life, it was banned outright upon publication and almost ruined her literary career.
Powell's City of Books is an independent bookstore in Portland, Oregon, that fills a whole city block with more than a million new, used, and out of print books. Shop those shelves — plus literally millions more books, DVDs, and gifts — here at Powells.com.