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Posted July 15, 2013
Seldom does a book with so few pages, approximately 250, contain so many topics. Childhood friendships, sexuality, family relationships, first love, coming out, child endangerment and murder twine around each other creating this story. The wonder is that Robin Silverman is able to do this in an effective manner without confusing the reader completely.
Lemon Reef is a complex story. It ties together themes of poverty, abuse and sexual discovery with murder. At times that makes reading the story difficult. There is so much going on in the book that issues are watered down. In the beginning of the book the pacing is uneven and the timeline seems to be confused, but these problems disappear as the story goes on. There are also a number of extraneous scenes that don’t add to the story, but lengthen it and sometimes get in the way. Taking those out would make the story more powerful and to the point.
This isn’t an easy book to read because it touches on a number of painful topics. Del suffers from abuse most of her life, first from her family and then from her husband. She has to deal with that as she and Jenna try to come to grips with their sexuality. The girls present a study in contrasts that are too familiar to many people. Del decides to suppress her homosexuality and try to fit into a world where she really isn’t comfortable, while Jenna takes on the struggle to fight for who she is and try to exist in that same world. There is an inevitable sense of doom that hangs over their young love. Many lesbians and gays can identify totally with what the girls go through.
Lemon Reef is not a depressing book however. It’s thoughtful and it’s instructive and it’s an interesting story. Sometimes it cuts close to the bone with the emotions it exposes, but ultimately it’s a positive story. Younger people who read it may not understand the angst in the book. In this time when things are beginning to change rapidly for gay people, it’s easy to forget what life was like not so long ago. This isn’t exactly light reading, but it’s good reading and it deserves a chance.
Posted August 16, 2012
Review: "Lemon Reef" by Robin Silverman was a real
interesting read that displayed many flashbacks of two young
ladies...Del(Adeline Soto) and Jenna in through HS. These two were more
than just friends... actually Lesbians until it was brought to a stop by
Jenna's parents. During this time there was a lost of things going on
with Del...the bruises, hygiene, beatings, and custody threats... then
there was 70's music...the problems Del had with her
mom...Pascales...OMG ..this was really some time! The novel was rather
long but if you can stick with it ..."Lemon Reef" does come
through ... dealing with a very sensitive subject. As the story moves on
Del has died. What happened to her and what will happen to her daughter
Khila? Will Talon get custody of Khila? This is a fiction book about
well you will simply have to pick up this novel for yourself.......off
the chain...really some read. Also there is Jenna.. and even Talon. Now,
I will stop at this point and say you must pick up "Lemon
Reef" to find out what will happen to these people and what was so
great about the 'Lemon Reef'? You will see there are no easy answers to
this novel...only leaving you saying.... Wow! I am not sure I found this
a great read for me but a good one that had many twist and turns and
that will keep you turning the pages until the end. You will have to
keep up or you may get lost and you don't want to do that! There was
a lot of characters...some were really interesting people that made this
storyline come together...from Jenna, Katie, Del, Norma, Gail, Sid,
Lance, Pascales, Bea McVee, Margaret Todd, Jason, Dirk Beasley, Alex
Sanders, John, Ben Reed, Tar Baby, Ida, Nicole, Sam Kramer, Anne Sloan,
Ms Fernandez, Doug Andrews, and Mel, Brian, Donald, Edie, Susan, Andrew,
Khila, to Madison and I am sure I have left someone out. You must pick
up "Lemon Reef" to find out who that is! In this read you
will read...about "reconciling with your past, coming out, being
queer, and first love are all beautifully told within a plot that will
keep the reader invested and interested." If you are in for a good
fiction mystery read that will take you on a emotional roller coaster
ride... you have come to the right place for this good read. Also, I
believe it is a novel you will never forget!
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Posted September 15, 2012
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