Monday, March 21, 2011

An Oldie but a Goodie

So I decided to start this thing off with a "timeless classic".  I just recently finished reading The Well of Loneliness by Radclyffe Hall.  I was a bit apprehensive about reading this book because I've never really been a fan of reading the classics.  But before I was ten pages in I knew this was not going to be the gruesome task I feared. 
Hall's book tells the story of Stephen Gordon, an English socialite at the turn of the twentieth century.  We watch Stephen grow up, fall in love and have her heart broken.  But more importantly we are with her as she ultimately discovers herself.  There is something incredibly realistic about Stephen's coming out to herself, to her mother and to the world at large.  I guess one would expect this realness since the book is loosely based on Hall's own life. 

There were some parts towards the beginning of the book that I found to be a little slow moving.  Apparently Stephen's first love in life is the house and grounds where she grew up.  Hall uses up just a few too many pages depicting the estate and Stephen's passion for it for my liking.  There were a few times in the first 100 pages or so that I found myself wishing we would just get to the lesbian parts already!  But once Stephen starts to come of age and come to terms with herself things picked up.

I do have to say that I was not a huge fan of the way the book ended.  Without giving away too many details here I will say that I understand why what happened "had" to happen, but that doesn't mean I liked it.  I was actually quite disappointed.  But overall I genuinely enjoyed this book and I do think it should be a must read for every literary lesbian.

Quick Facts
Pages: 441
Most quotable passage: "If our love is a sin, then Heaven must be full of such tender and selfless sinning as ours."
Sexiness factor (1-10): 5- Kissing and cuddling is as far as it goes.
Buy It or Borrow It: It's a staple and a great addition to any lesbian book collection.  Buy it.

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