GIVE ME TIME by Linnea A. Due


Email this review


Yet another saga of women-classmates through the Sixties and Seventies, this one with an earnest, talky, lesbian/feminist coloration. In 1968, at Ridgedale College for Women, senior Hadel Farnon walks ""straight into her own pure happiness, pure passion""--when she's seduced by gorgeous Laney Villano and embraces her long-repressed lesbianism. Thanks to prim preppy Megan (who pops pills), however, the Hadel/Laney affair comes to the dean's attention--and both Hadel and stoolie Megan are nudged out of school (completing degrees elsewhere), while Laney finds a far more serious passion with young Boston reporter Ann: they're soon ""married,"" sharing a house midway between Ridgedale and Boston. The Laney/ Ann relationship will be rocky through the next ten years, however: when Ann's career-moves take her away, furious/dependent/possessive Laney gets married (to a man), then must fake her suicide to reunite with Ann; and Laney's taste for role-playing (prostitute, feminist rock-singer, etc.) will become more and more desperately psychopathological, ""this bizarre other means to control her environment,"" with a predictable suicide at the close. Meanwhile, Hadel settles in Berkeley (where most of the novel takes place), has a crummy affair with bitchy Michelle, a better one with political Thea, sells stories to boys'-adventure magazines, and eventually gets involved with gay rights activism--admiring the soon-martyred Harvey Milk. (In an ensuing riot Hadel beams through the violence: ""For once we're saying, 'Stop pissing on me.'"") There are occasional visits from Hadel's best friend Natalie, Jewish and straight (""Why wasn't I born gay?""), who has rotten luck with men while making low-budget/low-income social-issue documentaries. There are occasional glimpses of vile Megan, now on the rise in college administration--still working against gay liberation, bolstering up convention and the Establishment, And classmate Portia, a bomber/radical who has to go underground for most of the Seventies, resurfaces here and there. Throughout, novelist Due (High and Outside, 1980) does attempt to sharpen and lighten the proceedings with a measure of irony, some nicely edgy dialogue, the sweet Hadel/Natalie chumship. The blend of murky psychology and shrill sexual politics remains a stultifying one, however--with little real personality in the prototypes, virtually no drama in their static, churned-over relationships.

Pub Date: Oct. 18th, 1984
Publisher: Morrow