Benediction

Diane Salvatore, Author Naiad Press $11.95 (272p) ISBN 978-0-941483-90-2
Teens and preteens who are confused about their sexuality may derive comfort from the exploits of this first novel's protagonists, but adults will wince as they stumble on inept prose, particularly the infelicitous metaphors (``Her stomach was churning like a washing machine in the heavy-load cycle''). At a retreat sponsored by her Catholic girls' high school, Grace, a sophomore, is perturbed when she eavesdrops on what is obviously a lesbian lovers' quarrel between the school's most popular seniors. She becomes agitated, too, when her best friend, Anne, confides that she is planning on losing her virginity with a boyfriend. Put off by her own boyfriend Glen's ``hormonal outbursts,'' Grace guiltily discovers that it's ``amazingly terrific'' to kiss Meg, a classmate for whom molestation is an ingredient of family life, and the pair embarks on a sexual relationship. Grace clashes with her parents and the Church; bitterly learns that some gays will ``do anything to pass as straight''; and is gradually politicized (a lesbian mentor tells her, ``The kind of prejudice and discrimination you'll face as a gay person, Grace, is totally different from the kind any other minority faces. People can insult you to your face because your difference doesn't show. That's either a blessing or a curse. You'll have to decide which''). Salvatore is a senior editor at Redbook magazine. (Aug.)
Reviewed on: 06/03/1991
Release date: 06/01/1991
Paperback - 260 pages - 978-1-931513-43-2
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