Saturday, January 25, 2014

Review: Riverfinger Women by Elana Dykewomon

Riverfinger Women
by Elana Nachman/Dykewomon, Elana Nachman

My Rating: 5 of 5 Stars

In Elana Dykewomon's debut novel, Riverfinger Women, Inez Riverfingers narrates her story in the style of an open, powerful confession, revealing the difficulty of living as a gay woman in the 1960s.

Penned by Dykewomon when she was only twenty-four years old, Riverfinger Women is hailed as a classic of lesbian fiction. Not only does the work champion the heroism of its lesbian characters, it was one of the first novels of its kind to have a happy ending.  Dykewomon is a recipient of the Lambda Literary Award and the Duggins Outstanding Mid-Career Novelists¹ Prize, and we are thrilled to bring her books back to life in ebook form.

There is one thing I liked about this book. Yes, it was written in 1974 but it has a contemporary feel to it. This may sound cliche but it is true all the same.

In the present categorization of things, this would be considered a YA book by many. Written by a young Elana Dykewomon, Riverfinger Women does give the reader the 'youngish' feel to the writing style, to quote someone else who read this. It took time for me to read but then I find it personally difficult to read this style of writing. And yet, it was a fantastic experience and it was very hard to put down once I got into it. 

This is the story of a young woman coming into terms with her homosexuality during the late 1960s and early 1970s. When songs like I Am Woman by Helen Reddy were blasting the radios serving to encourage those who needed it. Songs like these made women all over the world shout out loud for their rights in very vocal and physical ways - on the streets. The protests marched, the movements they gave birth to, we still see and join today. Even the bras they burned. Expensive come to think of it. 

These were the women that made the world what it is today. This is the world we women enjoy today. Women like Dykewomon left their mark on our world with simple things like their coming of age stories and making a difference.

Should this have been written in contemporary times, it would not have really created any real waves. This was, however, written decades ago, when the times were rougher, when the times were less accepting, when the times had societies shocked as books like these were published. This is what made it such a great read for me. What surprised me, really, was that it did not feel like it was written all those years ago. It's plot was quite present and just as real then as it is today.

Awesome, enlightening read.

Note: Review based on an ebook copy sent by Netgalley.

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