Listen free for 30 days

£7.99/month after 30 days. Cancel anytime

Summary

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

What listeners say about Boundaries: A Lesbian Romance

Average customer ratings
Overall
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    15
  • 4 Stars
    4
  • 3 Stars
    2
  • 2 Stars
    2
  • 1 Stars
    0
Performance
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    16
  • 4 Stars
    3
  • 3 Stars
    2
  • 2 Stars
    1
  • 1 Stars
    0
Story
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    14
  • 4 Stars
    3
  • 3 Stars
    3
  • 2 Stars
    1
  • 1 Stars
    1

Reviews - Please select the tabs below to change the source of reviews.

Sort by:
Filter by:
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

A very unusual love story.

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.

2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Multi-layered brilliance

Would you listen to Boundaries: A Lesbian Romance again? Why?

Definitely! On the surface this is an easy book to read. It's easy to read quickly because it is so engaging and well-written. But to do so misses a lot of the subtleties and subtext that contribute this to being such a good book. I'm all for a May/December romance and from the outset yes this is a lesbian romance and yes some aspects are unusual and at times disconcerting. But the author trickles background information to the characters throughout the book, keeping salient factors back which explain so much. I also loved the setting, timewise and location, ah! for nostalgia!, and this was enhanced by the narration and Jan Cramer's accents.

What does Jan Cramer bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you had only read the book?

Jan Cramer's narration simply brings the characters to life and enhances the subtleties of the narrative. I will definitely look out for her other narrations in this genre.

Did you have an emotional reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

Oh certainly a fair amount of angst, uncertainty, and laughing out loud at others. Reflective too of how a happy childhood is sadly not a given for everyone, but how some can turn adversary on its head and achieve in spite of it. It's a very well constructed read that manages to do all that and yet sustains interest until the end.

Any additional comments?

If you want a quick lighthearted read this book may do that for you. But it's also a much more layered read and it's real. Love is love at the end of the day and very few relationships are actually "conventional" supposedly stereotypical.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Great

Love shouldn't have any boundaries and age is just a number, good ending. Well written and well narrated. Humorous in parts, sad in others.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Enjoyable Lesbian Romance

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.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

A Gripping Read!

What did you like most about Boundaries: A Lesbian Romance?

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.

Who was your favorite character and why?

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.

Have you listened to any of Jan Cramer’s other performances? How does this one compare?

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.

Did you have an emotional reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

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.

Any additional comments?

I received a gift copy from the author with no strings attached. What a treat!

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Jd
  • 17-03-19

Whatever you do today, make time ...

..... to read this. If life has dealt you some pretty difficult choices, this read offers hope. Yes, it’s fiction I know. But life without hope is bleak.

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars

The ending is left far too late to be satisfying.

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.

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars

Just awful

I really full story, with no characters. Really not worth listening to. Narration was tragic. Could not finish.

Sort by:
Filter by:
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for soc.grrrl
  • soc.grrrl
  • 22-04-16

beautiful

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!

5 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Laura Straub
  • Laura Straub
  • 05-12-19

Frustrating

I am all for the slow burn but this story is just an exercise in frustration. **SPOILERS** Because of the age gap (36 vs 18) the older MC won't except a relationship with the younger MC EVEN THOUGH they have both confessed their love for each other, because of how it will look and what people and her family will say. I could even see the old MC basically says, lets stay friends until you are 21 something and see if we both still feel the same way but they DO NOT TALK about it AT ALL!!! It's just a straight up nope. UGH. The older MC has a couple affairs with men (fun!) the younger one dates other girls. Then literally YEARS go by before they have a chance meet up again and set up to go on a real date THE END. Seriously. The book ends. We don't get to see them actually date or an epilogue of their happy life together now, nothing.

3 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for cobaltblue
  • cobaltblue
  • 21-09-16

Enjoyable romance from Across the Pond.

Would you consider the audio edition of Boundaries: A Lesbian Romance to be better than the print version?

Did not read the print version.

What does Jan Cramer bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

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.

Any additional comments?

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.

2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Ann Townsend
  • Ann Townsend
  • 01-09-16

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.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for DAR ICE
  • DAR ICE
  • 28-07-20

Great!

I was very confused about this audible book at first. I was almost giving up on it. I'm glad I didn't give up. it was very good. it had highs and lows, all wrapped with a bow. possible trigger warning for some.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for wsm
  • wsm
  • 20-05-20

Well written but trigger heavy

this is a powerful story but it has a LOT of sexual abuse and rape issues. several incest and date rape scenes. I'm not too sure i stuck it out for a happy ending, but the narration was good.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Jerilyn
  • Jerilyn
  • 23-04-20

Jan Cramer is amazing

The story itself was very well written and very bold for the year it represented. The characters were well thought out and I lost myself in them within the first 2 chapters which is very rare for me. The narration was simply incredible, I thought she handled each part exactly how the writer had intended. I want Jan Cramer to narrate more lesbian books. You were marvelous!

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Dominique Storm
  • Dominique Storm
  • 17-04-20

Too short!

Good book, but way too short😥 The narrator was very good and the storyline was interesting. However, I felt like I waited the length of the entire book for the 2 main characters to come together and then the book ended abruptly. It left me wanting more.....

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for RdKill51
  • RdKill51
  • 09-03-20

A Brit. Box

This is my second time listening to this author and I still have one more in my library. Good story, but the accent screwed up my concentration. The performance was very convincing. Off to my next adventure

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for J & D Herrera
  • J & D Herrera
  • 06-12-19

There a line

If you love someone then time or age should not matter. In this disturbing way of gaining a love in all time. The pull and give of heart strings is all in Perspective.