Jean Copeland has written a beautiful, heart-wrenching love story that flits between the 1970s and present day. Leslie and Alice became friends at work but over time they became so much more to each other. Alice, a divorcee, introduces housewife and mother Leslie to her feminist crochet club and to a different kind of love. What starts as an education into the new feminist thinking of the 70s becomes for Leslie the most important relationship of her life and one she can’t ever forget, however hard she tries. When Leslie has a stroke at the age of 69, her daughter contacts her old friend Alice as that is the only word Leslie keeps repeating in her unconscious state. As Alice remembers their affair, we find out exactly how much they loved each other, but also how difficult it was to be in a lesbian relationship back then. Women had to put up with lecherous men refusing to believe that a woman might legitimately not be attracted to them! The big worry for Leslie though was the fact that she might lose her kids if anyone found out about them. I loved the way the author let us see how all-consuming the relationship had been and then the affect it still had on them in the present day. This is an emotional story with great characters and a poignant insight into the lives of women in the recent past. Highly recommended.
I was given this ARC free by Netgalley and Bold Strokes Books in return for an honest review.