Reading a novel is like a road trip… you tour the sites, you take in the forest AND the trees, you stop in places just because they look like fun. Maybe you eat questionable hot dogs from places you might otherwise never stop. The point is, when you commit to a novel, you’re all in, for the long haul.
Short fiction is like a commute. You gotta get from point A to B. You have a schedule, a destination, a goal. I like to fill my commute with great music, a wonderful view, or stimulating (legal, safe, and hands-free) conversation.
I happened upon this short story today and it’s far too good to keep to myself. I’ve read Jennifer Stevenson’s work before. She’s quirky, smart (scary brilliant, actually), and hilarious. So when I saw she had released a lesbian short story… I literally dropped everything and got it.
My current work in progress is a massive sprawling trip through a national park: bear shifters, Irish goddess mythology, childhood trauma, and plots of revenge. So along to break up my journey came a sexy detour in the form of Rose and Stelle’s story.
Here is the blurb from the book:
Rose and Stelle have been together all their lives. Now Rose’s memory is going. There’s a risky gene therapy that might restore Rose’s youth–but no guarantee that the treatment will restore her fading memory, even if she survives. They’ve loved each other enough to stick it out for seventy years. Will love survive dementia … and the gene therapy itself?
Of course, I HAD to read it. Youth, love, longevity… this promise of a happy ever after sparkles with risk. If something isn’t worth risking everything for, it cannot be worth everything, can it?
Well, the story does not disappoint.
What surprised me: how sexy it is. Their poignant lovemaking is far from cliched and is original and touching. As for the risky treatment? Sorry…no spoilers here. You’ll have to read it to find out. But I will tell you of all the three-word phrases that catch at your heart, “I Remember You” might just be the most evocative.
The writing is clean and tight, but not spare. There is depth of descriptions and tension and desire. I can picture Rose and Stelle even now… feel the wetness (of both desire and tears.) Great story. Lovely characters. Original premise. Simply put in another three-word phrase: Loved this book.
Thanks for the ride, Ms. Stevenson. Like the best commutes, I enjoyed the trip and even more so where I ended up. Hoping to see more lesbian fiction from this talented, multi-pubbed author.