Wednesday, 2 January 2013

The Discreet Lesbian by Mackenzie Stone

Episode One

Mandy Blackwood has been strictly brought up and is a member of Eudora Baptist Church where homosexuality was strictly forbidden.

Mandy married Scott, the son of a minister. All is not well almost from the beginning of their marriage. Mandy and Scott find out they can’t have children, Mandy wants to adopt, but Scott isn’t so keen. They eventually adopted Patrick, but their marriage was on a downward spiral.

When Mandy met Kathleen Crutchfield and Kathleen kissed her, Mandy’s life was about to change forever. She had finally found out what had been missing from her life all those years.

Mandy and Kathleen are very much in love. But how will Mandy escape her loveless marriage without losing the son she loves? How will they escape the wrath of the church? Then of course, there is Kathleen’s family to escape from as well. Is their love doomed from the beginning?

Episode two

Mandy is still in her loveless marriage. She has to stay long enough for Patrick’s adoption to be finalised. Scott’s behaviour is getting worse. All Mandy wants is to get away from him and to be with Kathleen. She wants her freedom from Scott, the church and their small minded community. Will Mandy ever be free?

Scott wants to leave the air force. He has an offer he can’t refuse. One that also gives Mandy and Kathleen a bit of a break too. Unfortunately, Scott’s constant badgering causes Mandy to finally snap. She tells him about Kathleen. What follows on from this revelation apart from the severe beating Mandy receives, is a catalogue of life changing events

Episode Three

Mandy is forbidden to see Kathleen by her mother, Mary Crutchfield. Kathleen seems to have gone a little crazy since the death of her father. It appears that Mary has been successful in keeping the two women apart. Mandy hears some shocking news which will ensure they will never be together again.

Mandy is alone. It seems that most of the community know she is a lesbian and she suffers the unwanted attentions of the creeps of society. She also undergoes homosexual aversion therapy. Of course, she doesn’t stay there long and returns home. Instead of the divorce she thinks she’s getting, she finds out the old boys network has sided with Scott. Mandy loses everything, including her son. Drastic action has to be taken. Breaking the law may be the only answer. What will Mandy do?

Episode Four

Mandy, convinced there was no other way, was on the run with her son Patrick. Her husband Scott, will stop at nothing to track them down and have Patrick returned to him.

Mandy is helped by an underground network of lesbians to remain one step ahead of Scott to keep herself and Patrick safe. But will she be able to keep running?

Along the way, Mandy meets a lot of nice women. Among them is Robin. A woman with whom Mandy feels she can have some sort of life. Mandy knows Kathleen was her soul mate, but Robin is a good woman and Patrick adores her.

Unfortunately, their happiness is short lived when the FBI catches up with Mandy. Patrick is taken from her screaming. Is this the end of the road? Has Scott won?

This story is told in four parts and as the title suggests, it’s Mandy’s story told in the first person point of view. The story actually reads like an autobiography rather than fiction. Which isn’t exactly a bad thing, but if you are expecting to read fiction, it comes as a surprise.

Each episode is quite short, making the length of the book short and although I did not pay for this book, (I was given a review copy) if I had, I would have been put out at the high price.

The story on the whole is good. I actually read each episode and took a break in between though. I found the subject matter hard going. Mandy had an abusive childhood. Then an abusive marriage. Unfortunately, I didn’t particularly like Mandy. She wasn’t a character that endeared herself to me. In fact, the way she went about pressuring Scott into adopting a child annoyed me. Scott obviously didn’t want a child, then she expected him to be a doting father. Having said this, I don’t in any way condone the abuse she suffered at Scott’s hands. Nobody deserves that.

As the story progressed, I found myself becoming more and more disillusioned with it. Throughout most of this book, there was nothing but negativity. I realize this is a story about a woman and her struggles to rid herself of an abusive marriage and the fight to keep her adopted son, but nothing really good happened in this story that lasted.

The book was well written and there is obviously going to be a second book. This one did not conclude. In fact, it ended abruptly and not on a good note for Mandy.

This is a book that in my opinion, isn’t a book to read for relaxation and fun. I’ve read books containing similar subject matters, most have some semblance of light heartedness in them, this hasn’t. So, not a book to read to cheer yourself up. It’s very depressing.

I am on the fence with this book, I neither really liked it or really disliked it. The fact that the story is to continue hasn’t made me want to read the next book either. But for anyone into abuse, religion or coming out stories, you may find this book of interest.

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