Monday, November 5, 2018
Book Review: 'Out and Proud' by Lisa Young
‘Looking for support on the journey to release her inner lesbian at the grand age of thirty-nine.’
Author Lisa Young, originally from Edinburgh in Scotland, now lives near Sherwood Forest in England. According to her book’s short bio, ‘She has always been a keen observer of human nature and personal relationships. With a witty and mischievous sense of humour, Lisa generally sees the funny side of life. She loves to travel and can often be found planning her next adventure. She also likes nothing more than jumping into her campervan with her wife, sons and miniature dachshund and heading off on a road trip. After a traditional marriage and two children, Lisa entered her thirties as a more authentic version of herself. She accepted her sexuality as a lesbian and embarked upon a new and exciting stage of her life which eventually led her to meet her wife, Lucy. As an out and proud lesbian, she met many extraordinary people and experienced both the joys and the complexities of dating as a single gay parent.’
Lisa’s gift for writing entertaining prose reflects her experiences led her to create a hilarious fictional world of lesbian dating. OUT AND PROUD is her first novel. Lisa was inspired to write her first book by her wife who told her, ‘You’ve lived it, now you just need to write it.’
The plot of the novel is well distilled in the provided outline – ‘Lottie Grant is a 40-year-old mother of two struggling to come to terms with her new-found identity as a lesbian living in a small Scottish costal community in the Highlands of Scotland. A witty and thoughtful account of one woman’s journey from conventional married life-with-two-children towards acceptance of her true sexuality: learning about life as an out lesbian, finding a new partner and dealing with all the complexities that her new life choices have created. After a chance encounter with the local gay vet Alice, Lottie is thrown into the excitement and turmoil of a new relationship. Lottie’s insecurities about lesbian sex and her lack of experience are humorously depicted in the engaging first chapter of the book. Whilst Lottie establishes new friendships within the small lesbian community she meets another guiding but often disruptive influence, the inimitable Pru. Pru is an older lesbian with eccentric views about life, she has a sizable ego and is a dominating presence on those around her. The novel chronicles the developing relationship between Lottie and Alice and the challenges they, and the family, experience.
The novel is sensuous, erotic with terrific love scenes and lots of solid jolly humor, but the real importance of this literary debut is the fact that Lisa Young is addressing gender issues that of late have unfortunately become under fire in the world. For people who simply cannot understand same sex relationships this book is a fine boost in the direction of informative teaching. All that plus it is a very well written and very real story to enjoy on every level.
Editor's note: This review has been published with the permission of Grady Harp. Like what you read? Subscribe to the SFRB's free daily email notice so you can be up-to-date on our latest articles. Scroll up this page to the sign-up field on your right.