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 Freelance writer Strock's first book is a spotty though much-needed study of lesbian and bisexual women in heterosexual marriages. After 27 years of marriage, Strock fell in love with her best friend, Toby--a woman. Her feelings were unrequited, but they had irrevocable implications for her sexual identity, marriage, children, and way of life. In this book, part self-help for other married women who love women (MWLW), part sociological study, Strock, who is still married, combines personal narrative with over 100 interviews with MWLWs and their husbands and children. Many women choose to remain in heterosexual marriages even after discovering that they love women. Often, husband and wife stay together for the companionship or to provide a stable home for the children. The women's coping strategies are diverse and intriguing. Rosalie lives with her husband, Jack; her lover, Brenda, lives just minutes away. Jack accepts Brenda's importance to Rosalie and has even grown close to her himself; the three consider themselves a family. Another woman has been having a secret affair for over two decades. Some leave their marriages; others choose not to act on their feelings for women. The subject of married women dealing with lesbian desires has rarely been addressed in depth; Strock deserves praise for undertaking it and for eliciting such frank responses from her interviewees. It isn't always smooth reading, though; Strock's writing style is stilted, and some of what she quotes from her subjects is incoherent. She also leaves us wondering about these women's lovers. Clearly it's easier if they're also married, but what if they aren't? Since Strock doesn't interview them, their perspective is largely absent here. Still, a valuable look at how such conflicting human desires as change and stability, companionship and sex, commitment and passion, social acceptance and personal happiness are handled by one little-studied group. (Author tour)

Pub Date: Jan. 12th, 1998
ISBN: 0-385-48825-4
Page count: 256pp
Publisher: Doubleday
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 1st, 1997