Go to Homepage   Nancy Crowe: Bethlehem Road

 

Crescent Blues Book ViewsOdd Girls Press (Trade Paperback), (ISBN 1-887237-00-3)

Whether in fiction or in real life, a lesbian love story differs from a story of the ups and downs of two straight people finding and growing a rich relationship together. Lesbian lovers often find themselves dogged by the ignorance and prejudices of the communities in which they live and so, unsurprisingly enough, authors often explore these issues in lesbian fiction.

Book: nancy crowe, bethlehem road
Nancy Crowe's tale relates the difficult course of Ruth Greene and Belinda Boaz's simple and comfortable love for each other. Not only do they derive from different generations and backgrounds, but they must also contend with the problems that arise from the unconventional nature of their love. Crowe explores homophobic intolerances and the many different types of heartbreak that this kind of prejudice can cause people to inflict upon those whom they love -- both intentionally and unwittingly. It shows too the great courage and personal risks that may be involved when gay people choose to "out" themselves to their families and friends, and why so many (many, many more than one might suspect) homosexual people discover that they have no option but to live the lie.

Bethlehem Road reads easily. The characters prove interesting and multifaceted and, on the whole, likeable folk who must deal with issues and aspects of life that they might prefer to pretend do not exist. The story touches on a number of complex interpersonal relationships, and it traces them as they grow, sometimes break down and, more importantly, regenerate themselves. Bethlehem Road provides a warm and satisfying romantic read, and an intelligent though-provoking and optimistic look at life and some of the obstacles one may need to clamber over on one's journey through it.

Moira Richards

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