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Family Jewels Paperback – October 4, 2012
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"Anyone looking for a straightforward lesbian romance won't find it here. What you will find is an extremely well-written book, which is rich in history and the dynamics of family relationships when one of the family is a lesbian... I look forward to Kate Christie's next book eagerly." - Reviews by Terry @ Affinity eBooks
"Family Jewels is more than a simple story about the relationship we have, or think we have with a family member. It is a story about how our perception impacts not only how we choose to interact with that individual, but how it often serves as a reflection of how we perceive ourselves. 5.1 out of 6.0 on the Rainbow Scale." - The Rainbow Reader blog
About the Author
Kate Christie was born in Kalamazoo, Michigan, and grew up playing in the waters of the Great Lakes. Of mixed Dutch and Scotch-Irish descent, she remembers the Tulip Time Festival in the nearby town of Holland fondly, and the oliebollen (Dutch pastries) her neighbors Hank and Gwen used to share at the holidays even more fondly.
A graduate of Smith College, Christie lives near Seattle with her wife and daughter and their two dogs. Family Jewels is the second title from her indie imprint, Second Growth Books, and follows Gay Pride & Prejudice (March 2012). She has three other novels in print, all published by Bella Books: Solstice, Leaving LA, and Beautiful Game. For book trailers, first chapters, and more, visit katejchristie.com.
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Junior's friend and mentor, Fitzy, is seriously ill and not expected to live much longer. Her Dutch/American family have never really accepted her lesbian lifestyle. It's like they think she has a choice and she's elected to be a lesbian.
In the midst of all this, Junior's father invites her to go on a trip to the Netherlands with him. Junior thinks he is going to try to talk her into going back to work in the family jewelry store. Junior had decided long ago that she would never go back. It's with trepidation that Junior accepts his offer.
Junior gets quite a surprise when the trip goes so well. She isn't even asked to go and work at the store. While exploring Amsterdam with her father, they both begin to bond together. Each learning more about the other than they ever had before. Both Junior and her father question the whys and wherefores of where they had both made mistakes along the way. By the time they return to Michigan, Junior has not only found out more about her family, she's now ready to move on to the next phase in her life.
Anyone looking for a straight forward lesbian romance won't find it here. What you will find is an extremely well written book, which is rich in history and the dynamics of family relationships when one of the family is a lesbian. This is basically the story of Junior and her family and friends. Her life, her coming out experience, her loves and losses. Not only romantic losses, but the deaths of those past and present she's loved and how she deals with all the problems she encounters in her everyday life.
There is a fantastic tour through the the Netherlands, the scenic descriptions had me actually seeing and smelling the flowers and seeing the coffee shops and the clubs and landscape. I loved the tours through places I can only dream of visiting. The Anne Frank Museum and the Homomonument, plus the Keukenhof Gardens, to name a few places. (I Googled them all, and they are exactly as I had visualized them while reading the book).
The characters in this book all interact really well together. Each is essential in the progress of the story of the journey of Junior's life. There are plenty of highs and lows and lots of fun, as well as the emotional turmoil Junior experiences.
This book left me with a sense of well being. It's always an added bonus for me when I've totally lost myself in the places with the characters an author describes. I look forward to Kate Christie's next book eagerly.
Kate Christie has gifted us with a rich and multi-layered which starts about Junior, a young lesbian, 26 who is in a kind of limbo: no relationship, no real direction in life, a bit disconnected from her family, etc. No romance here, but a wonderful study of people, of history, of finding yourself, of love and loss and of the power of family. Very well written too and I loved the description of Europe, Amsterdam: A yankee in the old world as well as the insights in Dutch midwesterners!
BTW Kate Christie proves that going indie doesn't mean a typo a page, sigh.