An emotionally and sexually frustrated divorcée explores her mounting attraction to women.
Rhoda’s divorce has her thinking that romance is not for her. But maybe she just needs to look in a new direction. Megan is an attractive blonde who instantly sees what Rhoda’s love life has been missing: a woman’s touch. As Megan guides Rhoda into the sensuous - but hidden - world of women who love women, the two unlock a passion that may be too hot to contain. There are a lot of beautiful women in the Village, and Rhoda’s just begun her adventure as a freewheeling lesbian.
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- Me & My Girls
Well told, but very much of its time
No. A book would have to be appallingly bad before I would consider it proper to tell the author how to do their job.
The portrayal of the 1960s lesbian underground was the most interesting element for me.
No. It stands alone as a complete story.
In the 60s, the young-ish Lawrence Block - one of my very favourite writers - created a character called Jill Emerson. Jill wasn't a private eye, an alcoholic, a burglar or even a hitwoman - at least not that I know of. Jill Emerson was a writer - a persona used by Block even in communication with Jill's publishers - and she wrote frequently lesbian fiction. Knowing this, WARM AND WILLING is not quite what I expected. It's not the fluffy wanton girl-on-girl soft porn titillation its title suggests - although it has its moments. It's a little more literary at heart. An attempt to write a Lesbian Novel with merit beyond the boob, the butt, and whatever mysteries may lie beyond. Briefly, Rhoda (24) leaves a loveless marriage ("I never refused him") and is eventually persuaded by a more experienced woman who just *knows* that Rhoda's marriage failed because - unbeknownst to the lass herself - she is a clear and present lezzer. Albeit out of uniform - no short hair or dungarees.
Rhoda quotes TS Eliot.
And Block explores both her character and a largely dysfunctional lesbo-underground within the heart of his old familiar New York.
Listening to WARM & WILLING, it's clearly very much of its time. The attitudes and era it describes are long gone. And the idea that lesbians must dwell in the "the world of shadows, the twilight world" is alien to me. This isn't something that happens when I'm reading other works - almost as old - by Block so it maybe says more about me than about the book. Either way, there was a little distance between me and the story, and I found myself often listening more as an exercise in analysis and comparison than in simple enjoyment of a story well told.
However, it is well told. The narrative is, as you might expect, detailed and precise. The dialogue, crisp. The relationship dynamics, shaded in grey. And the performance by Emily Beresford accentuates all the above.