Madison Lansford and Shannon Fletcher met when they were 10 years old. Madison - daughter of wealthy parents and Shannon, daughter of their live-in maid and cook - became fast friends, yet both knew their place in life. There was never a doubt that they would become lovers... there was also never a doubt that Madison would marry and maintain her social standing in the community. Little by little, they grew apart, their love affair ending with Madison's marriage and pregnancy.
Now, years later, Shannon returns to her old hometown to care for her ailing mother. Can they rebuild their friendship? Or will their new-found closeness bring back memories of their long-lost love? Travel through the years with Shannon and Madison and watch their love unfold as they move from teens to young women and into adulthood.
©2013 Gerri Hill (P)2015 Audible Inc.
I love audio books and listening to them while I draw or paint. They help to level me and take away the stress while drawing.
I say unbalanced because I felt the start was too long (or needed more depth to sustain it) and it didn't really hook me into the story. The first ten or so chapters being different encounters as the childhood friendship then love grew until Madison is married. I think I didn't like this so much because the character interacts included very few normal activities. I understand this is because of their situation, but I would have liked more life events above the intimacy, e.g. a bully or at school, dealing with a crises at home, saving a raccoon from a ... I don't know.
The middle was more interesting as with the main characters getting on with their lives, and facing up to fears, confronting each other. But end felt rushed and it was odd how her friends for many years were rejected. There were moments where I felt listening to the writer creating the story rather then the story itself; by I mean, there were passages when I felt the they where there to resolve something in the prose rather then be part of the story.
That being said I rated it overall a four, higher then I would normally. This is because Gerri Hill, is a bit of a master of the tear jerker, and brings a lot of emotion into the novel, which she carries forward to a happy ending. The reader's strong emotional engagement and sweetest of the characters marks it up.
I have read all of Gerri Hill's books, now I am listening on Audio. 'At Seventeen' has a great story-line, and quite heart-rending. A story of rich girl Madison Lansford, and poor girl Shannon Fletcher, with some exceptional secondary, but not unimportant, characters in the form of Shannon’s mother, who is the housekeeper, and Madison’s young, and very wise, intellectual son Ashton. Madison is controlled by her mother who dominates her life, planning her marriage from a young age, and overwhelming her very essence. Madison's husband takes over the role after marriage. Madison and Shannon have loved each other since childhood but it has taken years for Madison to come to terms with who she is, and who she wants that it is heart-breaking the time that is wasted between her and Shannon. I really enjoyed this Audiobook and all of Gerri’s work. Gerri knows how to draw her readers into the story....Carly Robins was outstanding as narrator.
I don't know how the story unfolds as I gave up after chapter eight. The beginning consists of a string of pubescent and prepubescent fumbling and exploration of sexual exploits without any hint of a storyline. The image of detailed encounters of what are in essence children made me feel uncomfortable. This may be suitable for teens exploring their own sexuality but the first 8 chapters are not healthy reading for adults.
Easy going pleasant tale, likeable characters with normal names. An average story, nothing heavy or exciting bit really enjoyable. Oddly nice\charming. This author is unpredictable, not a favourite as I've been hugely irritated having bought some of her books, only to fond them awful, populated with vacuous characters with annoying daft names that have caused me to abandon listening to, a shame and disappointment, but in this book she writes well paced fiction. I remain wary of her books still, I'll update this review if I find her other books as good as this by her. Narrator has nice tone, but doesn't differentiate the characters voces much, but reads efficiently. A pleasant surprise, nice story with a good ending, albeit abrupt, but that seems to be the way with some writers. Doesn't detract anything from the book though, a satisfying read.
"Hill is Magic for Romance Novels and Lesbians!"
That the story started with the girls when they were 17 then made them come full circle to adult woman and all they were dealing with, I loved that Madison had to deal with her parents, her estranged husband, her son, the growing feeling toward her childhood lover and she did the smart thing and decides she doesn't want to just have an affair, friendship is welcome but until her divorcee is final she is only interested in friendship because that is all she can manage at the time. And it's fair to ever one. Madison knows she needs to get act together before she can give her heart 100% to another. And that the only way she wants it.
Mostly what I said above, but that there was a lot of background on each girls families. I liked learning about Madison's super smart young son off at college, I liked the picture of her mother (Jerk 1) Husband (Jerk 2) and her father, I liked learning about Shannon and mother and brother. It was nice to have family support in a book. Not just those books with, you family hates because your gay, you must make your own family and never have a mother/brother/uncle or aunt show up and embarrass you in a story, It was refreshing.
Madison- I related to her the best, what it;s like to not be able to say no and to do it for so many years it just builds up. Only for me it was at work not at home but I could totally relate and to have someone telling you what to do every second of the time until you can't breathe, been there done that, not fun.
Two woman separated by time and circumstance, Brought together by love and chance, will they take the leap, or live in hell.
Hill is to me the second best lesbian romance writer topped by only Radclyffe, and then only just. Hill is amazing, she can make the same old story sound new, and the new sound amazing. In this jumping back and forth from 17 to the present, she wines and dine us on gourmet food. all the while making you want to eat more and more. Save room for dessert.
"I liked it by the end."
I was reluctant to listen to this story, because I knew going into the book that Shannon and Madison had a relationship that ended, and now they're encountering each other again after many years apart. I don't usually enjoy stories like this. The whole first part of the book is Shannon relating the story of her first love to her best friends before she moves back to her home town. This may have been one of the sweetest stories about first love that I've ever read. And it was torture, because we knew it would end, and how could it end well? I kept hoping I'd get to that point soon, because the sooner we knew their pain, the sooner they could meet again. I wanted to rip the band-aid off and get to the good stuff already.
I didn't have much sympathy for Madison. We're talking about someone who's almost forty years old who is still allowing decisions that she doesn't like to be made for her. Grow a pair! And part of me thinks Shannon was a doormat for just taking it. But beneath the cynic within me beats the heart of a romantic, so I loved when Madison finally woke up and took a good look around.
One final thing that I didn't like was the fact that Shannon let her friendship with Charlotte and Tracy go so easily. If you were good enough friends to tell them things you've never told another living soul, I wouldn't expect you to just tank the relationship like it didn't matter in the first place.
At the end of the book, I found that I enjoyed it, and that's a tribute to Hill's skill at telling a tale, because I didn't expect to like it much at all.
Yes, I would. It was a well written story.
I wanted to listen in one sitting but appreciated being able to listen over a couple of days.
"A beautiful love story"
I absolutely love this book and its even better hearing it on audio. You can't help but fall in love with Shannon and Madison's story
Other than the hot lesbian sex scenes, this book was not very exciting. Very predictable. Characters not particularly interesting or very well developed.
Really thought it was a well developed story. Favorite book by Gerri Hill so far
"No more moaning"
Changed up some of the sex scenes, moaning and approach.
Probably, too one dimensional and predictable.
"Soft Lesbian porn"
I expected more of a story, but the book mainly consisted of love scenes between the girls. Too much for my taste.
At fisrt i wasnt sure i would love this story, but once i started listening. i couldnt stop. listened in my car, at work, in bed, overall i absolutely loved everything about it!
"Great Love story"
I never read the book. My eyes are not that good anymore, so I really enjoy listening.
The women falling in love.
Alice, because she was so delightful.
I've always enjoyed Gerri Hills writing. Years ago I would always buy her books. Now I really enjoy listening to them just as much.
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