In 1955, eighteen-year-old Janet Jones keeps the love she shares with her best friend Marie a secret. It’s not easy being gay in Washington, DC, in the age of McCarthyism, but when she discovers a series of books about women falling in love with other women, it awakens something in Janet. As she juggles a romance she must keep hidden and a newfound ambition to write and publish her own story, she risks exposing herself—and Marie—to a danger all too real.
Sixty-two years later, Abby Zimet can’t stop thinking about her senior project and its subject—classic 1950s lesbian pulp fiction. Between the pages of her favorite book, the stresses of Abby’s own life are lost to the fictional hopes, desires and tragedies of the characters she’s reading about. She feels especially connected to one author, a woman who wrote under the pseudonym “Marian Love,” and becomes determined to track her down and discover her true identity.
In this novel told in dual narratives, New York Times bestselling author Robin Talley weaves together the lives of two young women connected across generations through the power of words. A stunning story of bravery, love, how far we’ve come and how much farther we have to go.
|Product dimensions:||5.80(w) x 8.60(h) x 1.60(d)|
|Age Range:||12 - 17 Years|
About the Author
Robin Talley studied literature and communications at American University. She lives in Washington, DC, with her wife, but visits both Boston and New York regularly despite her moral opposition to Massachusetts winters and Times Square. Her first book was 2014's Lies We Tell Ourselves. Visit her online at robintalley.com or on Twitter at @robin_talley.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
First let me just say, Oh. My. Gosh. This book is absolutely revolutionary. A true work of art. In the book we follow two storylines from two different times in history. One is the story of Abby and her quest to find out more about the elusive Marian Love; author of a famous pulp fiction book that impacted her life. The other side of the story is that of Janet Jones, a senator's daughter struggling with her sexuality in 1950 who also stumbles upon a pulp fiction book that makes her realize her true goal of becoming an author. Their stories seem to beautifully intertwine in so many ways, not only through the effect of gay representation in literature, but also through the struggles they face to be with the people they love. Abby is in love with her ex-girlfriend Linh who doesn't want a relationship anymore. Janet faces a similar problem but on a much larger scale. Marie is her long time best-friend, and as they realize their feelings for each other, they also learn the great risks that they faced to be out in 1950. Surrounded by a homophobic norm, Janet finds her truth through the lesbian pulp fiction and becomes a writer herself. I personally felt that though the double storyline was beautiful and well executed, the ending seemed very rushed. The story had such a large buildup with Abby's desperate search for the author only for it to fall flat in the end, which was disappointing. But then I realized that just as authors for lesbian pulp fiction were forced to cut off their beautiful tales short at risk of being imprisoned for promoting homosexuality, Robin Talley was trying to give us that same feeling Janet felt. I might just be looking into it too much but that was my take on it. The characters themselves were amazing. Imperfect and complex, they felt like real people I could actually relate to. I saw a lot of myself in Janet rather than Abby, because I grew up in an environment where straight was basically the only way, but this book opened my eyes. This book is so important because now girls can see themselves in love stories too, even if they don't want to be with a guy. I couldn't help but think of Simon vs The Homosapien's Agenda (another great read!) as I read this because they really pulled at my heartstrings and showed the not always pretty truth behind homophobia and the struggles that gay people face. Pulp gave a beautiful contrast of how things have changed since the 1950's, even with the side-characters who had their own identities. It's lovely to see an author recognizing diversity in all of its beautiful forms. Thank you, Robin Talley.
The characters themselves were amazing. Imperfect and complex, they felt like real people I could actually relate to. I saw alot of myself in Janet rather than Abby, because I grew up in an environment where straight was basically the only way, but this book opened my eyes. This book is so important because now girls can see themselves in love stories too, even if they don't want to be with a guy. I couldn't help but think of Simon vs The Homosapien's Agenda (another great read!) as I read this because they really pulled at my heartstrings and showed the not always pretty truth behind homophobia and the struggles that gay people face. Pulp gave a beautiful contrast of how things have changed since the 1950's, even with the side-characters who had their own identities. It's lovely to see an author recognizing diversity in all of its beautiful forms. Thank you, Robin Talley.
Well, this was a surprise. I honestly will admit that there were was two things that had me a little skittish about this book. the fact that it is a MASSIVE ebook (literally like 6 1/2 hours) and the fact that I would now have to read 6 1/2 hours of a historical fiction. I love me some history, but like, that is a lot of history??? But omigosh, it was wonderful, and this is definitely contemporary historical fiction done right. This story has like, four stories within this one story. We have Abby who is in modern day 2017, trying to keep her head above water after a complex breakup with her first love and her parents' messy love life. When she discovers a lesbian pulp fiction story that really resonates with her, she makes it her mission to write her own and discover more about the mysterious life of Marian Love. On the flip side, we go back to the 1950s when the story was first being written with Janet Jones, who fell in love with her pulp novel that would forever change her own life story. So yes, for the record, that is Book Janet Reads > Janet's Life > Janet's Book She Writes > Abby's Life > Abby's Book She Writes. Oh, wow, that's 5. So, yes, lots of stories within stories and characters. Lots of characters. It honestly worked for the most part, but there were a few times that I was like, wait, who's Sam??? Which story is she in?? But honestly for the most part, Talley did a wonderful job. Each storyline that would pop up was intriguing. The history she was discussing was interesting enough, but she made sure to keep it forever intriguing, and I was so so fascinated. I have to say that I didn't know anything about 1950s lesbian pulp fiction, and I didn't know as much about the Lavendar Scare as I should, but Talley brought both items to the forefront effortlessly. I felt intrigued in both Abby's and Janet's plots, and I was pretty eager to get back to both of their POVs each time I would go away from enough. As I said, there was a lot of characters, but Janet and Abby certainly shone. They were wonderful main characters, and I definitely was rooting for them hardcore. The other side characters were rather well done as well. And the romances were complex, messy, and realistic. The biggest complaint that I did have would be sometimes the stories within the stories would get a bit overwhelming, and it would slow down the pacing a bit. I was going with a 4.5, until I read the ending, and tbh, it felt a bit lackluster. We were doing this huge search and everything, and it just fell...it fell pretty flat to me. Overall, it was the perfect blend of history and contemporary, and Talley created such a fascinating cross storyline. Few bumps but overall SUCH a great read despite its massive size! 4 crowns and an Ariel rating!
Pulp, a historical fiction novel, was not only well written, but extensively researched- which made it fascinating to read-especially the stories within the story. There was so much going on within this novel that you cannot help but become invested in the characters’ lives and their actions, both in the present and the past. I also loved how the students were encouraged to protests, along with teachers, to have their voices heard, just as many are doing now in terms of gun control.