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Women's Studies Paperback – October 1, 2006

4.8 out of 5 stars 4 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

A native of southeastern Kentucky, Julia Watts is the author of the Lambda Literary Award-winning Finding H.F. and many other works including lesbian romance, erotica and young teen paranormal. Watts is a two-time recipient of grants from the Kentucky Foundation for Women and recently completed an M.F.A. in Writing from Spalding University. She lives, writes and teaches in Knoxville, Tennessee.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 280 pages
  • Publisher: Spinsters Ink; 1 edition (October 1, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1883523753
  • ISBN-13: 978-1883523756
  • Product Dimensions: 5.2 x 0.6 x 8.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #4,293,111 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Top Customer Reviews

By K. Johnson VINE VOICE on November 26, 2006
Format: Paperback
Never having read anything by Julia Watts, this reader wasn't sure what to expect from her newest book. I certainly enjoyed every word on every page, from the front cover to the back cover and would like to read the rest of her published novels soon.

Watts tells the story of three young women, all named Elizabeth, during their third year in college. Each woman is taking `Women in Literature' taught by Dr. Angela Rivers, and has some connection to the others via other students.

First is Liz. Liz is dating Dan, but is unfulfilled in their relationship. Dan is not interested in sex and treats Liz more like a friend than a lover. When she meets Audrey, Liz's world is turned upside down and she's experienced confusion beyond measure.

Next is Elisa. Elisa is dating Jo, her girlfriend from high school. Jo is majoring in PE and cares about only two things - sports and Elisa. Elisa is majoring in education, but is convinced to change her major to Literature by Dr. Rivers. The professor offers to be more than just Elisa's advisor; thus causing Elisa to reevaluate her wants and needs, especially where Jo is concerned.

Lastly is Beth. Beth is the deeply closeted daughter of a high society family. She outwardly dates Mike, a guy in the same situation. They help each other seem straight to others. However, they find ways to covertly visit the local gay night spot where they hook up with others for anonymous sex. That is, until Beth and Mike both meet people they cannot resist.

Watts flips back and forth between these three lovely young women and their friends. Each of the students has a unique problem and the reader can't help but relate in some way to at least one of them. We've all had friends with similar issues and experiences as well.
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By Orlando on February 12, 2007
Format: Paperback
Julia Watts' new novel Women's Studies was a delight to read. Watts' strengths as a writer manifest themselves in her deft handling of dialogue and humor that surfaces in conversations to leaven the very real pathos. As for the plot, it seems to me that Watts has developed a rather common college experience: discovering an identity through relationships with other people. A plot need not be convoluted to be interesting. At 20, individuals are just starting to explore who they are, and Watts does a fine job of characterizing three young girls moving into adulthood.

When I was an undergraduate at a large, southern university, I had several friends who tried to hide the fact that they came from families who had always "lived down in the holler," and so I find the portrayal of Elisa's parents to be realistic. That Elisa is conflicted about the image her parents project seems typical of a young adult who is struggling to grow beyond the confines of a small town. Also, I'm not sure why one would expect this novel to be "intellectual," and it does not pretend to be so as Watts' descriptive writing and attention to unique details provide vivid images of the characters and their experiences. Structurally, the novel is satisfying as Watts seamlessly weaves the three stories of the three Elizabeths into an entertaining and insightful story.

This novel is not out to reveal harsh or shocking truths about its basically down-to-earth, endearing characters. Instead, it stays in calmer and quieter territory, giving insights into the gnarls of romantic and family relationships.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Two of the stories in this book were enjoyable but I REALLY liked the third story, the one with Liz and Audrey. I did not want their story to end, I would have given the book 5 stars if it was just about them. Unlike most lesbian romance novels, they weren't a traditional butch-femme couple. Thank goodness! I get so tired of that dynamic. They are both smart, quirky women.
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Julia Watts is a fantastic author who in this book was able to capture the feeling of what life in the early 90's on a small urban campus was like for budding feminists, not just lesbians. Her stories of the three Elizabeths were so well told that I didn't want the book to end. She is able to get into the heart of her characters and their personal dilemas so well. I especially liked the story of Elisa and her interactions with her professor(a la Henry Higgens). And Thalia (the comedic muse) was a hoot. In fact humour pays a large part in all of her novels. I mean laugh out loud humour! Julia, you rock my world--I hope you keep churning out these great novels.
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