For starters – a golf course in Palm Springs? Count me in! Mr. Kraft and I get to Palm Springs at least once a year, and our son and his partner join us from L.A. (where we absolutely refuse to drive any longer). We’ve taken in the marvelous Judy Show at the Purple Room, gone Tiki Bar hopping (the Reef is a favorite), hiked the stunning Andreas Canyon trail with its native palm trees and clear creek waters, explored the Art museum, taken the aerial tram and hiked at the top, toured modernism houses, and sampled more restaurants than are probably good for us.
Palm Springs may have been a reason I picked up this book and kept reading upon first opening it, but there is so much more.
Golden Years and Silver Linings: A Lesbian Romance
by Linda M. Ford (Author), Patricia Grayhall (Author)
Publisher: Rain City Press
Publication date: August 14, 2023
Print length: 283 pages
Genres: Lesbian Fiction, Lesbian Romance, Women’s Divorce Fiction
This book is a breath of fresh air for all of us over sixty. I could not put it down. Having lived through the Women’s Lib of the 60s and Consciousness Raising of the 70s, I was impressed with the realistic portrayal of that era – and chagrined yet again over how long it took for our culture to move from there to inclusiveness and acceptance for the LGBTQ community (a battle we are obviously still fighting).
If I had to identify two main themes that stood out to me, they would be fidelity and authenticity. Now in their late sixties, the two main characters first fell in love with each other in their early twenties, in 1972. By then Christina already identified as lesbian, but Robyn Elizabeth had never considered that there might be any other option than to fall in love with a man. I appreciated the authors’ authentic description of her inner struggle to accept her feelings and finally act on them in that era. In 2023, readers who are younger may write off Robyn Elizabeth as an undeserving wimp when she ultimately turns tail and runs, abandoning Christina. I fully understood her.
The dual timeline novel gives us a window into their 1972 experience, then drops us into a chance meeting 46 years later, in 2018, on a golf course in Palm Springs. As a sidebar, I love Palm Springs and thoroughly enjoyed it vicariously through the characters’ eyes.
Christina’s wife has died of cancer, in 2016, and Robyn Elizabeth is in a stable 40+ year marriage that is relatively comfortable but lacking passion. We are allowed to experience the inner world of both characters as they journey toward what many might think an impossibility – a late-in-life happy ending.
Christina is deeply afraid of being hurt again, as she was by the abrupt break-up in 1972. Robyn Elizabeth must once more examine her feelings and become faithful – not to a marriage that is already broken, but to her authentic self. Even knowing that all romance novels have a happy outcome, I was pulled into their experience and found myself struggling to envision how it all could ever work out. And that is what kept the pages turning.