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Fresh Tracks Paperback – November 13, 2006
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This is author Georgia Beers' fourth novel, and it shows growth in both style and technique, as well as offering the reader something new in romance.
Friends of Amy and Jo gather in a cabin in the woods for a week's vacation. If you're a fan of lesbian romance novels, then this might recall for you the classic that revived this genre, Curious Wine. Whether it was intended or not, Fresh Tracks pays tribute to 1983's Curious Wine, with this contrast: the women in Curious Wine were straight, except Lane. The women in Fresh Tracks are all lesbians, each and every one.
Jo and Amy are the hosts, and have a solid relationship. Molly and Kristin are a couple whose relationship is on the verge of failing. Laura and Sophie are both recovering from broken relationships; Darby is single and young and the spark that almost causes a meltdown of the whole week of togetherness.
It may be unfair to draw a comparison between these two novels, but the parallels are there, and it won't hurt either novel. Katherine V. Forrest's groundbreaking novel is considered the standard, a novel that began the whole industry of lesbian romance, remarkable for its bold eroticism and its romantic setting.
Fresh Tracks has the romantic setting, and Beers has decided on a style and construction that is very enticing for the reader, each chapter from a different character's point of view, and each section of the novel marked by the next day of the week between Christmas and New Year's.
This a lovely book, set in a cabin in the woods, a snowy holiday retreat, each character in turn making amends and resolutions and new starts.
Terrific holiday reading. What more could a reader want at the holidays than a story of friends gathering in a gorgeous cabin in the woods for a week of fun with snow on the ground and a roaring fire in the fireplace (and elsewhere).
Amy and Jo have a loving long-term relationship, it is fun to see their passion and camaraderie (they are best friends who are also lovers). It's not all snowflakes and mistletoe however. Molly and Kristin have been together seven years and are very much in love but both have let outside commitments pull them apart where they are in danger of becoming strangers. Laura is newly divorced after eleven years of marriage and Sophie is still suffering from her girlfriend leaving her six months ago for another woman.
Fast paced for a such an intimate story this is truly a page turner. It is impressive the amount of details about the characters the reader learns in such a limited amount of time. Truly terrific writing. I could not get enough of Amy and Jo they are a tremendous couple, my heart went out to Kristin and Molly as they struggled, and watching Laura and Sophie find their path to new lives was riveting.
If you liked the author's other stories, including `Turning the Page', you will love this book.
From the publisher's website - Seven women, seven days. A lot can happen. There are three things that Amy Forrester loves most in the world: Jo, her wife of fifteen years; spending time with her closest friends; and her cabin in the woods. What better way to spend the week between Christmas and New Year's than having all three! When she invites her three best friends to join her and Jo in their mountain hideaway, all she expects is good food, fine wine, and lively conversation.
Unfortunately for Amy, there are three things that she doesn't count on: her best friend's relationship is falling apart; her two other friends share a secret that causes nothing but conflict and discomfort; and the arrival of Jo's fly-by-the-seat-of-her-pants niece Darby, who has a habit of leaving broken hearts in her wake.
Childhood friends, new lovers, and old rivals share beginnings, endings, and the uncommon bonds of friendship in a story filled with romance and possibility.