Estranged for eleven months, the two women hide their painful memories and strain to be civil to one another. Eleanor startles them by insisting that they take turns reading aloud from Eleanor's diaries of her life with Daphne DeMonet. Only after the diaries are read in her presence will Eleanor proceed with a full interview.
Once Eleanor discovers that Bailey and Chelsea are ex-partners, the diary readings take on a new meaning for her. Can they learn from the mistakes she and Daphne made as young lovers? Will that knowledge bring Bailey and Chelsea together again? Or is it too late to mend their broken relationship?
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
This is Paynter's fourth book and undoubtedly her best so far. It shows the maturity that is developing in her writing and her ability to tell a story that is intricate, but deceptively simple. When the book opens it appears to be another version of the girls lost/girls found formula, but it quickly turns into something else. First, it presents a poignant history of what life was like for gay and lesbian actors in Hollywood during the 1950s. Even McCarthyism makes an appearance. A reader can't help but think of the lives of people like Rock Hudson and what they went through. Eleanor and Daphne's story, as they duck, weave and deceive their ways through the political and social climates of the time, is interesting enough to sell the book. The bonus is in watching what happens to Bailey and Chelsea as they become invested in Eleanor and the story. There is a gentle lesson that unfolds as they come to realize that relationships take work and that there are greater priorities than careers and always getting things the way you want them. Survived By Her Longtime Companion is one of those books that draws you slowly into the story and causes you to care about the characters. The reader will probably find herself wishing that these were real people, people that she could get to know. If nothing else, the story is very appealing and certainly worth the time to read it. It also is the type of book that will encourage the reader to want to read Paynter's next publication.