Tuesday, August 30, 2011
Jennifer Weiner Listened to Me! The Review
Look! I'm back! This is what happens when all of you lovely ladies put out the word that my super secret alternate identity, Murdock Editing, is looking for new submissions. I love you all, and much thanks!
Now, if you'll recall, back when Ms. Jodie Picoult came out with her latest novel, I asked here and on Twitter what mainstream author you'd like to see write a lesbian character. I got loads of responses, but I held fast to my favorite - I wanted a lesbian written by the wonderful Jennifer Weiner.
And then it happened.
Weiner's new novel, And Then Came You, is, like all of her books, gorgeously crafted and perfectly written. It's the kind of book you want to stretch out with in the sun or curl up with in bed. Told from the point of view of three women: a surrogate, an egg donor, and a woman desperate to have a child, the story loops through the twists of fate that bring them all together without ignoring the vast differences that set them apart.
AND THERE'S A LESBIAN.
Now, I know we all get a little nervous when a (I assume) straight lady with such a wide following writes about one of our own, fictional or not. Will she seem real or familiar? Will she just go back to the dude in the end? Will she just be desperate for a baby? (Please, please, authors, stop writing this trope - we get it. We want babies. All of us. It's the only thing we ever think about. Nice to meet you! Hey, wanna go on a date? Can we have a baby now?)
But Weiner handles her lesbian with such grace that you just have to assume her bestie is one of us. Jules, one of our new favorite lesbian characters (can someone get on making this into a movie, please?), is NOT the I-need-a-baby-now-where-is-the-sperm stereotype. Instead, she's a complex and full character choosing to donate her eggs to help another woman - and save her family. And yes, she comes out during over the course of the novel, but it isn't a moment of High! Lesbian! Outing! Drama! It's quiet and hopeful. And Ms. Weiner goes so far to let our girl have sex with her partner, and even that is far from salacious - it's beautiful and tender and exactly what we always dreamed would happen with that best friend we had a crush on once-upon-a-time.
If you haven't already purchased this book, do it now. Do it right here. Because while we love to support our fellow lesbian writers, we also need to support our sisters who are supporting us by adding us into their stories like it ain't no thang. Weiner handles a story that feels familiar and true with such aplomb that I'm giving her the Literally Lesbian Book of the Month award. Sit back, read, and enjoy.
Oh, and if you haven't come out to your mother yet, and she happens to be fan of Chick Lit, send her a copy too - Jennifer Weiner will teach her just how to handle it. (Note: I sent a copy to my mother even though I've been out for ages - never hurts to see one of her favorite authors show us some love!)
Posted by Lindsay at 3:26 PM