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Finding Bluefield [Kindle Edition]

Elan Barnehama
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)

Print List Price: $16.95
Kindle Price: $4.99
You Save: $11.96 (71%)

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Book Description

When Barbara Phillips arrives in Bluefield, Virginia, to begin her medical residency, she thinks she is headed for an uneventful few years filled with work in an obscure little town where no one knows her—which is exactly what she wants. Everything changes when she enters Nicky’s diner and begins a journey that will last a lifetime as she falls in love against her better judgment and best-laid plans. The free-spirited Nicky later attends the 1963 March on Washington and impulsively and anonymously sleeps with a man in hopes of getting pregnant and starting a family with Barbara. When Nicky gives birth to Paul, her sister steps in to adopt Paul for his own "protection."

Nicky, Barbara, and Paul escape Bluefield and make a life in upstate New York, only returning to Bluefield years later upon hearing of the death of Nicky's sister. As their journey comes full circle, Barbara, Paul, and Nicky find their return to Bluefield is the catalyst for facing family secrets and forging family ties.

Finding Bluefield is the story of two women finding love and building a family.

Editorial Reviews


  • Finding Bluefield honored as Finalist by the 2014 American Book Fest INTERNATIONAL BOOK AWARDS; Fiction: Gay & Lesbian
  • "Can a male author fully convey the female experience? Certainly the same was questioned of Wally Lamb when he penned the literary masterpiece She's Come Undone. Like Lamb, Barnehama takes many risks and - just by simply writing the novel - challenges the very audience he's writing for. By doing so, he is again reminding readers and critics alike that the sole purpose of a great writer is to tell the best story possible. In Finding Bluefield, Barnehama achieves this . ." David-Matthew Barnes, Lambda Literary Review
  • "Novelist Elan Barnehama's latest book Finding Bluefield tells the story of lesbian love set amidst the politics of the 1960s."  --
  • These pages seek to do the dual work of detailing the difficulty of life at the margins, while highlighting how normal those unfairly relegated actually are. . .Finding Bluefield nonetheless makes affecting arguments for work toward a more just world. An agreeable and earnest novel which highlights the innate humanity of the families which society sometimes forgets to honor. --ForeWord Reviews
  • "Virginia is for lesbian lovers in this 1960's period romance. A doctor from New York and a  roadside diner waitress fall in love-- and make one of the cutest couples I've met all year.  Their courtship involves jumping into a convertible, making love, eating pies... can I join them, please?  They decide to start a family and have a baby. That's when one of their righteous southern family members tries to take their baby away so it doesn't grow up in an 'unfit household.'  . . ."  Susie Bright, The Bright List

From the Author

When I began writing FINDING BLUEFLIELD I started with Nicky.  Next, Barbara showed up and I wanted to know how she and Nicky would make their way through the turbulent 1960's.  I wanted to chronicle the lives of these two women who, by seeking love and family, found themselves navigating unknown territory during a time when relationships like theirs were mostly hidden and often dangerous.

Nicky and Barbara's multi-generational tale crossed paths with political and social events of their day, such as JFK's election, Woodstock, the MLK March on Washington, the moon landing, voter registration, the Sanctuary movement, and others.  But, as their lives unfolded against this backdrop, I wanted to avoid writing a message novel, the kind where the writer relentlessly hits the reader over the head with their message and renders life as simplistic, and situations as black or white. The thing is, very little of life is black or white.  It's mostly grey. If we're lucky, some other colors too.

I wanted to tell a tale that was at its core personal, not political.  That was about characters, not causes.  That told a story, not sent a message.

FINDING BLUEFLIELDis foremost the story of Nicky and Barbara creating a life for themselves and Paul.  It is the story of their need to be able to imagine a life that they did not know existed, to imagine a life that they could not see, and for which they had no model.  Because if we can not imagine, then we can not change.

Product Details

  • File Size: 455 KB
  • Print Length: 224 pages
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
  • Publisher: Bold Strokes Books (December 1, 2012)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00AH0136I
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #472,725 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An easy read for a complex subject September 3, 2012
Don't let the subject matter fool you. This book goes beyond what "lesbian fiction" is conceived to be. It's a universal story about love and acceptance - either from one's self or society - whose central characters happen to be two women who want to share their lives together and be a family. From a historical perspective the book spans from 1960 to 1983 and you are taken back to relevant periods where the underdog is longing to be heard through civil right issues. Along with that, the author gives us a ride through southern and northern cultures, religious pondering, cancer, humour, food and wine. Amongst the underlying social meaning behind the story, Finding Bluefield, is not just about Nicky literally finding her hometown, but finding herself through her losses and love of her family.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
This is one of those books where you have to skip the blurb and will discover the wonderful polished gem of historical fiction it really is.
The book covers the period from 1960 through 1983 and tells on the surface the story of a lesbian couple, but, readers, does he ever manage to pack into it all the topics this period is brimming with: segregration, Dr. Martin Luther King, J.F. Kennedy, the south (and southern food!!), being different as black, jewish, dykish, cancer, men on the moon, Woodstock, free love, family ... The genius of this book is that it all comes very low key packed into the personal lives of Barbara, Nicky and Paul. The characters are wonderful and very likeable and the author never ever stands on a soapbox, but lets the issues quietly soak into the very fabric of the story. This is one of these rare books where every word and every sentence counts and where the story is flowing effortlessly. Kudos to Elan Barnehama.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Quality Writing and a New Perspective March 1, 2014
By Penny
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
You will be hooked on this book within the first 500 words. This author knows how to write good fiction. The descriptions are clear enough to paint a picture and crisp enough to keep your attention. Even the dialog is good. The story is compelling and fresh, you are drawn in immediately—none of that “Well, I’ll give it five chapters and see where it goes,” stuff here. I love indie authors and the boutique publishers that put them out there. This book is what ePublishing is all about, new voices and new stories. I hope you buy it and enjoy it as much as I did.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Nice pleasant book to read November 16, 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Nice pleasant book to read. This books warrants a sequel for me to give it more starts. Coming from the same generation as the boy in the book, I was love to see where it ends today. Since the child today would be 50, same age as where the book ends for the two main characters.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars loving bluefield September 14, 2012
By bhigg
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I loved FINDING BLUEFIELD. I loved the pace of the book and I fell in love with the characters. I'd say more about what I most loved but I don't want to spoil anything for anyone who has not yet read the book! Enjoy!
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Couldn't put it down May 20, 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I must confess I had a bit of an attitude going into reading this book. How could a guy really get inside the life of a lesbian couple? That attitude fell by the wayside quickly as I got drawn into the story and completely forgot about the author! In fact, I couldn't put the book down and read it in two days - and that was forcing myself to slow down.

The author does a great job taking the reader into the early sixties and then spanning the next two decades - covering civil rights, gay rights and many other transitions in that time frame - all from a very personal and compelling perspective.

It is a beautiful story, heart warming without being sappy or formulaic, and I highly recommend it.
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More About the Author

Elan Barnehama's debut novel, Finding Bluefield, was published in September 2012. He is re-revising a new novel. He also writes essays on this and that in the HuffPost and elsewhere. His. Elan was raised in New York City, lived in Northampton, MA, and now lives in Santa Monica. He recieved an MFA from UMass Amherst and a BA from Binghamton. Elan has taught college, at-risk high school youth, was a senior writer for a couple of universities, has led community based writing workshops, coached high school varsity baseball, was a weekend radio news dj, and a short order cook. More info at

BOOK CLUBS can arrange to SKYPE with Elan.

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