Warm and Willing

  • by Lawrence Block
  • Narrated by Emily Beresford
  • 4 hrs and 47 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

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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Customer Reviews

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Dated

Anytime I can get an audio that focuses on Bi or lesbian women I make sure to get it. This was an especially good month with this book as well as Sing You Home by Jodi Picoult. Normally it's very difficult to find a book by a mainstream author with a lesbian theme. Okay, perhaps in it's day this was probably a highly progressive look at a scorned and feared minority. Unfortunately that was fifty years ago and the text comes off as hopelessly out of date in atmosphere, as well as attitudes. If you're an older GBLT member or supporter this book might be a reminder of just how far we've come. I on the other hand, am a 34 year old bisexual woman and the fear and self hatred expressed in this book turned me off in a hurry and eventually I gave up on it and decided that in the future I would take a much longer look at an audio before I spend too much time on it.
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- Me & My Girls "The wisdom is reaching far beyond what we see. Delight in the journey"

Well told, but very much of its time

Is there anything you would change about this book?

No. A book would have to be appallingly bad before I would consider it proper to tell the author how to do their job.


What was the most interesting aspect of this story? The least interesting?

The portrayal of the 1960s lesbian underground was the most interesting element for me.


Have you listened to any of Emily Beresford’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

No.


Do you think Warm and Willing needs a follow-up book? Why or why not?

No. It stands alone as a complete story.


Any additional comments?

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.

Sex follows.

Manhattan moves.

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.

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- Teresa

Book Details

  • Release Date: 10-01-2014
  • Publisher: LB Productions