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Customer Review

9 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I loved this book, August 7, 2004
This review is from: Ricochet In Time (Paperback)
Award winning, best-selling author, Lori L. Lake, tells a riveting story in her acclaimed novel, Ricochet in Time. Lake's novel hits a raw nerve in its depiction of prejudice, homophobia, and gay bashing at its ugliest. It is a story of how tragedy and despair can lead to hope and love as a brave woman, Dani, with the help of newfound friends, fights back. The main theme of Ricochet in Time is, "What goes around comes around...you send love out into the world, and it comes back to you. You send out hatred and hell-fire, and it behaves just like a boomerang. It ricochets right back and hits you in the heart (p. 198)." One door closes for Dani, will another one open?

Danielle Corbett (Dani) and her new girlfriend, Margaret Lee O'Donnell (Meg), lives are changed forever because they stopped at a bar along the road. They had been traveling by motorcycle in hot, humid weather, and after two hours they needed a break; they stopped to get a Coke. If only they hadn't, things would have been so different. The mere sight of these women provoked the locals, who took offense at having two "queers" in their establishment. One bigoted low-life forces them to leave. He doesn't think "perverted dykes" have the right to be in his presence. Dani and Meg leave, but not without a fight. Thus, begins the masterful storytelling Lake is best known for.

Left for dead by their basher, hikers witness the accident and rescue Dani. Hurt, alone, with little money, and no place to go, Dani's impulse is to run. She has always run away from her troubles. The only thing keeping her from running this time is her medical condition. Dani has to heal first-physically and mentally. She has to come to terms with Meg's death, figure out where she is going to live, and what she is going to do with her life. After her mother's death, Dani and her brother were raised by a homophobic, abusive, and alcoholic father. Growing up under harsh circumstances, she developed a tough outer shell, but inside she is a sensitive, caring woman who only wants to love and be loved.

Hospitalized at a very vulnerable and lonely time in her life, Dani meets a physical therapist, Grace Beaumont, who is interested in Dani for reasons she doesn't reveal. Grace's great-aunts, Estelline, and her partner, Ruth, take Dani into their home and hearts. They feed her starving body, as well as her mind and soul. What started out as Ruth's desire to get the story of the bashing for The Purple Paper, and to help the gay community fight prejudice and hate crimes, ends up to be so much more. Dani becomes an important part of Grace, Estelline, and Ruth's lives. The women become very special to Dani too.

The heart-warming, committed, and loving relationship between Estelline and Ruth sets a perfect example of two soul mates who remain together through thick and thin; they have weathered many storms and have become stronger because of it. The older women are role models for the younger women. Can Dani and Grace achieve what these two women have?

Ricochet in Time grabs you from the first page and doesn't let go. The story flows so naturally that you don't feel like you're reading a book. You are there, living through the circumstances along with the characters, who come to life on every page. Lori L. Lake is a masterful storyteller. What I love most about Lake's novels is how much I care about the characters and what happens to them. Even with Dani's rough-around-the-edges exterior, you can't help but love her. She comes across as a strong woman who can fend for herself against all odds, but this is her coping mechanism. Through Grace's eyes, you see the good more clearly and you find yourself rooting for more than friendship between Dani and Grace. Lake writes with such clarity and imagery that her description of the pain Dani suffers from the accident is palpable. The author, insightfully and eloquently, went inside her characters' heads, making the story that much more believable. You know exactly what and how the characters are feeling at any given time.

I highly recommend Lake's debut novel, Ricochet in Time. This talented author of the best-selling novels, Stepping Out: Short Stories, Different Dress, Under the Gun, Gun Shy, and Ricochet in Time, is "considered one of the best authors of modern lesbian fiction," according to Lavender Magazine, " but her work-part action, part drama, and part romance-gleefully defies categorization." I couldn't agree more.
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Location: Southwest United Kingdom

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