Lesbian Lit: An Emergence of Green
An Emergence of Green, originally published in 1986 and written by Katherine V. Forrest is still telling the coming out story for many of us. And that is in some ways unfortunate considering that the story is set in 1984 Los Angeles during the Olympics and the presidential campaign that boasted the first and only woman candidate for vice president. Twenty-four years later we almost had a woman run for president – close but no cigar. Twenty-six years later intelligent and attractive women with cultural interests are still waking up as trophy wives to controlling, chauvinistic husbands and wondering where their lives went.
Carrie and Paul have lived a perfect life enjoying Paul’s upward mobility and financial success wherein Carrie always quits her job to follow him around the country on every transfer and currently frets about his disapproval of her new work schedule because she gets out of bed before him. The perfect life that Paul has built starts to crumble when his perfect wife befriends Val, the twice-divorced tall, dark, athletic artist next door, and through that friendship begins to question the perfection of her life and marriage with growing displeasure. Val and Carrie’s friendship eventually leads to a red hot romance and extramarital affair. Forrest’s writing is best in the scenes of sex and sexual tension between the women; the foreplay is exquisite and the detail is delicious. As hot as the sex is, when Carrie tells Val “I’ve never been like that with anyone before” she doesn’t just mean the physical experience; she is surprised and confused with what she feels on a deeper level. As Carrie spends more time with Val and her son, Neal, Paul tries to rein her back into a stable but sequestered life with him. Carrie soon finds herself in a tug of war between Paul and Val and eventually attempts to assert her independence from both with devastating consequences.
Some critics say Paul is a fully-developed almost sympathetic character because Forrest provides compelling inside information on how he came to be such a domineering and arrogant jerk. Internally he is a frightened and abandoned little boy that grew up poor but externally he’s a jerk in need of therapy and anger management who sinks to inexcusable violence and is undeserving of sympathy.
The Richmond Lesbian Book Group meets the second Monday of every month at the Gay Community Center of Richmond to discuss books written by or about lesbians. To learn more and join us checkout our new Yahoo group: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/richmondbookgroup/. Join us for a classic on December 8th: Six of One by Rita Mae Brown and ring in the New Year with Scarpetta Factor by Patricia Cornwell January 10, 2011.
April Brown is a voracious reader for whom writing reviews provides an excellent cover story for the tower of books leaning toward her chaise lounge. She is currently working on two books and slacking off on her blog, http://fearlessspirituality.blogspot.com. April works as a corporate trainer with almost twenty years of experience training everything from HIV/AIDS prevention programs for incarcerated youth in Virginia to health insurance continuing education.
I want people to leave with knowledge of what their community center does,”March 31, 2015
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