Alice & Jean by Lily Hammond
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
I'd like to thank NetGalley and the publisher for providing me with a copy of this book!
Alice & Jean is an LGBT Post-World War II period piece. The book focuses on Alice, a war widow struggling to get by with her two young children. Jean is the local milk-lady, dropping off milk to Alice's house daily. Alice and Jean start spending time together, fall in love, and have to overcome obstacles such as the times they live in, Alice's obnoxiously bitchy mother, Big Jim the misogynist, and their small town's rumour mill.
This is the first time that I've come across a Historical Fiction novel that features LGBT main characters, and I really respect it for that. That is something I would like to see more of! (I mean it's 2016! C'mon, we need more diversity in writing.) However, this book unfortunately fell flat for me. Lacking in character development, and relatabilty (both in dialogue and in situations - instalove!), it failed to engage me at all. I didn't particularly love Alice and Jean as characters, and I had no emotional investment into their relationship. Alice's sole purpose was to be the kindhearted victimised mother, and didn't seem to have any personality outside of that, whereas Jean's purpose was to serve as the embodiment of everything that would be considered "scandalous" in that time period. As this is the first LGBT Historical Fiction I've read, I really wanted to like this book, I did. There was nothing particularly bad about this book, I just didn't connect mentally or emotionally with the situations Alice and Jean found themselves in. For that, I give it 3 Stars. Not a bad read, it just wasn't quite what I look for in a book.
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