Thursday, June 2, 2011

Rereading Pages for you by Sylvia Brownrigg

"An uninformed, innocent student in her first semester at university, Flannery Jansen initially encounters her lover in a local diner. But her tentative overtures - a look, a blush - are dismissed and Flannery retreats, humiliated. Future chance meetings discourage Flannery even more, for Anne arden is sophisticated and poised; in Flannery's eyes almost impossibly beautiful. Until, one day, she realizes that Anne Feels the same way about her..." (-from the backcover)

Pages for you by Sylvia Brownrigg (2001) has always been one of my favourite lesbian novels. It had been a while since I read it last, so I thought it was time I gave it another reading. I still thought it was a great novel, but it was interesting to see how when one changes (becomes older, wiser, more successful at love if there's such a thing) a story you read also changes, or at least your interpretation of it and the impact it has on you.

This book tells the story of first love. Of first sight, first kiss, first sex, and ultimately first betrayal and first broken heart.

Written after the fact, in diary form, it gives such a detailed and vivid description of a first lesbian relationship, it is at times almost painful to read. However, I no longer found it as painful as I did a few years ago. I guess that's what I meant with changing or perhaps just getting older. Memories of first crushes and relationships are now so long ago that they are just memories.

Pages for you tells the story of 17-year old Flannery, a freshman in college, who falls madly in love with a graduate student. She first sees Anne reading a book and thinks she is the most beautiful person she has every seen. Talk about love at first sight.

It turns out Anne is actually teaching one of Flannery’s classes, and that is how the two get into contact. Flannery is totally intimidated by this beautiful and amazing older woman, and soon she becomes her pupil both inside and outside of the classroom.

Anne teaches Flannery all about life and love, and Flannery is eager to learn everything Anne has to teach her. As you can probably guess, things eventually start to fall apart. The naive little college freshman finds out the hard way that Anne is not as wonderful and perfect as she thought she was, and that first love never lasts forever.

This book captures perfectly the intensity of first love and the naivety of it all. You cannot believe what you are feeling and experiencing, and you want it to last forever. And you think the other person is feeling exactly the same way. But they don’t. Or they do, but somehow it just cannot last. And nothing hurts like the ending of your first lesbian relationship, especially when you are only 18. Everything is life and dead at that age.

If you're looking for an intense and troublesome lesbian account of first love and first loss, you should definitely check this book out!

This novel was read for the GLBT Reading challenge as well as the LGBT Book challenge.


CharmedLassie said...

I've twice tried to read this but the short format of the chapters stopped me getting into a flow. I'll give it another chance at some point because it sounds like a rewarding read.

Natazzz said...

You should definitely give it another try. If you do, let me know what you think!

Brighton Blogger said...

I had never heard of this book and definitely going to add it to my wish list! Thanks for sharing your thoughts!

Hannah said...

I am totally loving reading this book. I have not reached the painful part yet.

Natazzz said...

Hannah, let me know what you think once you've finished it. I'm thinking maybe it's time to read it once again..

Hannah said...

The one lesbian book I keep re-reading is "Desert of the Heart".

Natazzz said...

Hmm. I quite enjoyed the movie, but I've never been much of a fan of Jane Rule's writing.