It’s a relief to be able to read a good, “old-fashioned” novel that’s neither sexually explicit nor specifically aimed at young adults — just a regular, grownup book about suffering bravely through war together and coming out into the sunshine on the other side, like the plenty of books straight people have like this — only, about two women in love instead. (I don’t have anything against sex, but there are lots of straight books without it so it’s nice to have the reminder that our stories don’t NEED a sex scene to be worthwhile.)
A Wartime Love is so full of “What it was like for the British during the period of German attacks in WWII” details that it can almost be read just on that level by itself–what it was like to have young men to worry about overseas, or to have American soldiers hanging around, or to have your workplace completely destroyed in the middle of your job, as well as more minor but no less evocative details like faking a Christmas turkey with sausage in the shape of a turkey and parsnips for legs, or milk bottles still standing in place on the stoop when the building they’d been delivered to was bombed to rubble. Anyway, I’m sure there are a bazillion “what we endured” books like this, but this one has HAPPY LESBIANS so it’s special and different.
So, yeah, you can safely read this if you only pick up f/f novels if they have a HEA. They’re gonna be okay. Even the brief moment of sisterly revulsion goes away really fast, just push forward when you get to it because it goes in an unexpected direction that really made a lot of sense.
There are definitely upsetting bits, though: TW for pregnancy loss and pregnancy in general, and for, well, the kind of death and destruction you’d expect for a book in this setting. But the girls are okay; I honestly wouldn’t have read it without that assurance :P
And the bits where it’s just them, together, being emotional rang REALLY true and felt exactly like what that feels like. :)
Shira Glassman is "a bisexual Jewish violinist passionately inspired by German and French opera and Agatha Christie novels. She and her agender same-sex spouse live in north central Florida, where the alligators are mostly harmless because they're too lazy to be bothered."
- The Second Mango (2013, Prizm Books) Golden Crown Literary Society finalist for Young Adult
- Climbing the Date Palm (2014, Prizm Books) - "The Artist and the Devil" (2014, Vitality's free minizine, online only)
- A Harvest of Ripe Figs (2015, Prizm Books — due out 1/21/2015)
- Tales from Outer Lands (included free with the Figs paperback, but available as a separate eBook 2/11/2015)
She says "It's worth noting that every single one of those works has at least one bisexual character, and that "The Artist and the Devil" directly confronts and punctures biphobic stereotypes where one of the two short stories in the Tales, "Aviva and the Aliens", stars a bisexual woman rescuing herself and keeping her girlfriend safe, too. I am currently working on book four of the Mangoverse series."