Side by Side

Isabel Miller, Author Naiad Press $9.95 (256p) ISBN 978-0-941483-77-3
Readers looking for a sympathetic discussion of lesbian issues, such as the nature of butch/femme relationships or whether lesbians should support gay political activism, may appreciate Miller's ( Patience and Sarah ) tale of women who overcome their fathers' hostility to make a life together; but the novel suffers from a lack of polish, and the narrow perspective will diminish its mainstream appeal. Patricia Burley and Sharon Almo have been best friends since they were in diapers in the late 1940s, but when their friendship develops sexual overtones, their fathers take steps to separate and ``cure'' them: Patricia is hustled into therapy and Sharon is shipped off to her grandmother's farm in the Catskills. The well-laid plans of the sexual arch-conservatives go astray, however, as Patricia heads off for college and a brief affair with a bisexual female instructor, while Sharon finds an ally in her delightfully eccentric grandmother, a self-styled witch who does psychic readings and sells lawn ornaments. Years later, in 1969, Patricia traces Sharon to New York City, and they recover the closeness of their childhood relationship while gaining the support and friendship of other lesbians. (Feb.)
Reviewed on: 10/31/1990
Release date: 11/01/1990
Paperback - 256 pages - 978-0-7043-4446-4
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