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Monday, 19 December 2011

Book Review: Starting From Scratch by Georgia Beers

This was an undemanding lesbian romance that was sufficiently interesting for me to read in one sitting.

Avery King lives with her dog Steve, enjoys baking and spending time with her grandmother amongst other things. One thing she certainly isn't keen on is spending time with children but, thanks to owing a favour to a friend, she ends up coaching a sports team for five and six year-olds. Avery finds herself falling for the mother of one of the kids, complicating her life and changing the things she thought she wanted.

As I said, this was an easy book to read. It doesn't offer anything profound but it does tug at the heartstrings in places. One scene particularly towards the end had me welling up. There aren't many passages of character analysis but detail is scattered so delicately through the dialogue that the reader is rarely at a loss to decipher the motivations of any particular characters. I also found the young boy in the story, Max, to be delightful and realistic - not the whining and irritating child you find so often in novels.

One of my major difficulties with this book had everything to do with me and nothing to do with the book itself - as an English reader some of the Americanisms just baffled me at times. It made reading something of a guessing game but I don't think altered my enjoyment of the novel much. A more relevant criticism relates to the plot twist that emerges a few chapters from the end. Although it stems out of a perfectly natural occurrence - and the book is reaching a natural conclusion - I found it to be ultimately rushed over in the epilogue. I would rather the twist hadn't been put in as it didn't affect the main narrative much. However, from a character point of view, I understand why Beers wanted to tie up the loose end.

I'd recommend this to anyone looking for a modern lesbian romance without too many strings attached.

I read this book for the LGBT Reading Challenge 2011.

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