The Discreet Lesbian: (Episode 1 in the Mandy Series)

Rated 4.50/5 based on 2 reviews
Mandy Blackwood is a product of a strict upbringing in a church steeped in taboos against almost everything, but especially against homosexuality.

She marries Scott, the son of a Southern Baptist minister. Mandy and Scott, unable to have children, adopt a baby boy and are seemingly happy.

However, Mandy unexpectedly encounters her true destiny and struggles with the implications. More
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Review by: Kim Lost on Jan. 19, 2016 :
This story takes place in the 1950s and 60s in a small town in Arizona — not the easiest time and place to be “different.” We find that out early in the story, where the narrator describes the petty, judgmental, and rigid environment she grew up in. In one example, the old biddies gather around the kitchen table to cluck in disapproval over a local gym teacher and her short-clipped hair and masculine shoes.

"as a general rule they never came right out and said words like 'lesbian' or 'homosexual'; they referred to the ungodly condition as being 'that-a-way.'"

The young narrator, Maddy, is not just subjected to intolerance but hypocrisy as well. Her own family, to all appearances pious and godly, is secretly abusive. Maddy and her sisters are beaten by their mother and are subjected to sexual assault at the hands of their step-father.

As much to escape her own family as out of any sort of romantic feeling, Maddy marries an airman stationed at the base outside of town. At the age of 17 she settles into a comfortable, if dull, married life.

"Scott and I never did have much in the passion department but I don’t think that either of us knew any better."

When the couple adopt a baby boy, their marriage begins to disintegrate. Scott is unwilling to become a father and turns his back on the child and his wife. They still live together, but Maddy, for all intents and purposes, is alone.

But not for long! She develops a close friendship with Kathleen, the daughter of a local businessman. That friendship grows and soon the two become lovers. Because of Maddy’s marriage (such as it is) and the strict, religious beliefs of the community, Maddy and Kathleen must be constantly on guard. If anyone found out about them, they would be destroyed.

"Our loved ones became potential enemies."

This story is delightfully engaging. The author creates a wonderfully detailed portrait of the time and place. The character of Maddy is extremely relatable in her innocence and her longing for something more from life. I have to ding this story, however, because the volume I am reviewing (“Episode 1”) does not include a complete story. It’s more of an introduction. There are 5 more episodes that (I would assume) tell the rest of the story.

The style of writing is simple and straightforward. It suits the innocence of the time and the innocence of the narrator, Maddy. There are only a few awkward phrases and typos to detract from the prose (like Kathleen had always been “strangely unusual”).

All around this is an intriguing story that is told well. It’s not quite intriguing enough, however, for me to buy 5 more books to find out how it ends.

Rating: 4-stars
Read Time: 25 minutes
Violence: corporal punishment
Sex: a little bit
Drugs: No
(review of free book)

Review by: Sky Bailey on Nov. 12, 2012 :
i loved it very easy read wonderfully written can't wait to read the rest of the series well done
(review of free book)

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