Modern Daughters and the Outlaw West

Melissa Kwasny, Author Spinsters Ink Books $9.95 (198p) ISBN 978-0-933216-75-4
Twenty-two-year-old Gina moves to Emeryville, a colorful mining town in the days of the Wild West and now notable mainly for its poverty and its lesbian community. Unaware of the group's existence before her arrival and vaguely considering herself heterosexual, she nevertheless quickly finds herself in the arms of Maggie, an eccentric artist whose trademarks are a goatee and a 10-gallon Stetson. In general, Gina's actions seem without motivation. Dropped by Maggie, she drifts into an affair with the voluptuous June, then suddenly declares her love for Myrna, an intense Chippewa woman. Although the first novel traces the results of a bias attack against the women by a fundamentalist preacher and their responses--including a spectral visit from an infamous madam of yesteryear and a masterly solution by Maggie, who foils a plan to erect a statue of the Virginp. 167 --the action is overshadowed by frequent descriptions of atmosphere and states of mind, and undermined by flat, uninvolving characters. The main rewards here are the vivid, often lovely descriptions of the Montana countryside. (Dec.)
Reviewed on: 08/29/1990
Release date: 09/01/1990
Genre: Fiction
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