Review by: Moira Richards

5/01/02

First Resort
By Nanci Little

Two 40-something women -- one is straight, one is gay -- both carry the burden of abuse suffered at the hands of men in their lives. This is Nanci Little's third novel, and the third also, in which she touches on some of the many and various and socially accepted forms of the sexual abuse of women. It is a story of women's triumph over this abuse and Little hopes that works like hers will give hope and encouragement to the (too) many women who still suffer domestic violences in secret and alone.

The publisher's blurb deatiling the book's basic plot asserts:

At twenty-five, Jordan Bryant was a rising star on the LPGA tour. At forty, those dreams a distant and painful memory, she maintains an almost clinical distance between herself and the people she meets at Catawamteak, the grand resort on the coast of Maine where she is Director of Golf . . . until she meets Gillian Benson. Widowed and left wealthy by a husband the whole town knew was an abusive, philandering bastard, Gillian comes to Maine in search of a piece of summer, or perhaps a summer of peace: to Catawamteak, with its acres of oceans and tides of sweet-mown grass . . . openness with as few limits as her newfound freedom. . . a meticulous exploration of the growth of the bonds of affection, love, and friendship between women.

First Resort diverts briefly too, into a very interesting examination of pornography-- what constitutes pornography and what is it not? Where is the line to be drawn between pornography and erotica, and is this a universal or a personal line? Is, and if so how, is rape any different from to rape fantasies?

In the main, this book could also have been a textbook to investigate with its readers, the roots of homophobia and its many manifestations; the many cultural taboos and customs that homophobia has embraced to protect itself from sexualities other than the conventional hetero world. But of course, it is not; it is a warm and tender love story(s). It is a fine exploration of women, their loves and their sexualities and how inadequate is the gay/het polarization to these complexities.

The publisher, Odd Girls Press, gives voice to many lesbian and feminist women, and it publishes their writing in all genres of fiction and nonfiction. Its founder, Margaret Gillon, is especially interested in new nonfiction work, and Odd Girls Press is also currently accepting submissions of previously unpublished short stories for an upcoming mystery anthology to be edited by Katherine V. Forrest, so check out their submission guidelines at http://www.oddgirlspress.com.

 

ISBN: 1887237011

| Home | Fiction | Listserv | Creative Archives | Scholarly Archives |
| Book Review Archives | Critical Essays | Contribute | Search the Site |

Contact Us