Northern England 1979 - Social worker Elizabeth has finally plucked up the courage to end 14 years of unhappy marriage. Lost and lonely, she buries herself in work to keep her emptiness at bay. Then an unexpected phone call brings troubled teenager Jan to her door and Elizabeth shocks her friends and family by taking the traumatized young woman into her home as a lodger.
For Jan, Elizabeth is always bound to be more than just a landlady. Gentle, reserved, and quietly attractive, she has all the qualities guaranteed to make Jan love her. But Jan is still struggling to make sense of her devastating affair with a very different older woman. And in a world where love between women is still taboo, the frightened young lesbian does all she can to keep her feelings hidden. As the friendship between the two women deepens, long buried secrets are exposed and family tensions begin to escalate. As both women are forced to confront their demons, they make choices that will change their lives and the lives of the people around them forever.
Dealing with issues of love, betrayal, and abuse, and packed with memorable characters and wry humour, Boundaries immediately shot into the best-selling ranks for lesbian romance and lesbian fiction at the UK's independent book stores when it was first released in 1994. The book's popularity has continued on Amazon, where it was re-released in 2013.
©2014 Jane Retzig (P)2016 Jane Retzig
I've never read a love story like this. It's about a relationship between an older woman and a much younger one. The story is firmly grounded in reality and feels very real. It's in first person and the viewpoint switches between the two women easily.
It's nice, romantic, well-written, and well-narrated. It‘s an all around good read.
I loved this audiobook. It's sweet, very moving and beautifully narrated by Jan Cramer.
Jane Retzig's writing is understated and the story has some very dark and possibly controversial themes. The book however is very cleverly written.
The book is mainly set in industrial West Yorkshire in 1979/80, and the author often uses literary, musical and political references as a kind of descriptive shorthand to evoke the period and place. This worked perfectly for me, though I wonder if some of this could be lost on younger listeners.
The central characters are all sympathetic (even Sharon, who does her best not to be) and some parts of the book are very funny.
I thoroughly enjoyed it and I love all the works of this talented author.
The story starts in 1979 and the following period is captured wonderfully. If you lived through it it will ring true and if you didn't it will give you a glimpse into the very different atmosphere of our recent history. The storyline is gripping. It has plenty of tension and some challenging dilemmas, but also a sense of hope for the future.
I can't decide between Jan and Elizabeth. The story is told from alternate points of view and this is really effective. Their thought processes are utterly believable, even when you're frustrated with their actions at times.
I haven't listened to this narrator before, but I'll pay her the highest compliment I can. I forgot it was a narration and listened to the characters in my head.
Yes, it has the emotional range of real life. At different times I felt tense, sad, frustrated, amused and happy, but mostly I shared the longing of Jan and Elizabeth.
I received a gift copy from the author with no strings attached. What a treat!
Story: Began well then became repetetive, unrelateable, tedious and ridiculous. Very disappointing, expected better from Retzig after previous novels such as the Photograph being superb, worthy of 5stars. A better narrator might imrprove this story. Her last two have both been a disappointment.
I go through audio books like a bag of jellybeans. One right after the other. 90% of them in the lesbian fiction genres. This book was so moving I forgot it was fiction for a second. I am not a literary critic by any means and I very rarely write reviews but this story was too good for me not to say so. If you are a fan of lesbian fiction and like a good romance I can not recommend this book more. The performance was wonderful. Thank you for giving the lesbian fiction genres this gem!
"Enjoyable romance from Across the Pond."
Did not read the print version.
It took awhile for these American ears to get used to the British accent, but after just a few minutes of listening, everything was fine. There were a couple short sections where the sound levels changed, but not a big problem.
I just wish the story had continued a bit longer, to share the experience of Elizabeth and Jan finally getting together, since we had shared all their other, more challenging experiences that had kept them apart.
"Love is Always Love; Sometimes Sex Isn't Sex"
Tough listen. All of the main care/love-interests have been through something or many somethings that cause them to reduce themselves to less than they deserve, because guilt, self-doubt,and other more reduced frames of mind, result in "settling". Half of the picture painted is of women who have a very bad experience with sex - sex that isn't just sex, and sex that has nothing to do with love.
I'm not sure how I feel about young versus older in a relationship. For myself, I *think* balancing history and/or experiencing it with age *night* be important. To skew that a bit, I love classic rock, particularly when it's orchestral rock (ELO, Moody Blues...) My age belies my love for this style, though, because I was barely born when most of it was produced. At the same time, i, literally love dance, house, and hip hop (trance puts me to sleep). I see beauty in some young woman, but they don't understand my musical or political references. I guess some people are older than their years, so to be negative to someone for their youth seems like reversed agism, which is small-minded regardless of the direction.
Sometimes sex isn't sex. It's debasing another, because of something broken and wrong in the perpetrator. Children and young people are taught by experience the relationship -- no pun intended --- or rather the proportional / parallel comparison between sex and self-loathing or sex and self-worth.
Thankfully, despite the abuse of sex, love is always love.
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