An amazing true story of love conquering all.

The vast majority of the lesbian romances I’ve read have been fiction, and I never thought I’d get to read a true one that could give those fictional stories a run for their money, but here it is! This is a wonderful, sometimes painful, but amazing tale of two women who were clearly meant to be together, no matter what life threw at them.

Sallyanne was born into a very traditional Italian Catholic family in New York. She grew up with certain expectations placed upon her by that family: she would go through school, then find a man to marry and have children with. She fought hard to do something different, forging a working career for herself while still doing the husband and kids thing that her parents and extended family all wanted. By the time she was 34 she had four kids, a nice home with a decent man by her side and considered herself lucky and happy.

The only blot on her progress to this point in her life was the loss of a close friend, Kate, who threw what Sallyanne describes as a hissy fit when Sallyanne got married. They’d been inseparable, and it wasn’t until years later that Sallyanne realized Kate was the first woman she fell in love with, even though she wouldn’t have recognized it as such back then. We’ve all been there!

So, it’s 1995, Sallyanne is 34, and suddenly fate, destiny, call it what you will, changes her life forever. She sends an email to a friend, only without realizing she leaves one character out of his email address. The person who receives it in error, a woman in California called Mickey, sends it back to Sallyanne, explaining the problem. Sallyanne is so touched and impressed by Mickey making the effort to do this that she writes back, and so begins a long-distance correspondence that will take both women on a journey they’d never have imagined.

It’s an incredible story, and the telling of it really sucks you in. The two women both have many obstacles, both internal and external, to overcome before they can face up to the reality that they are in love with each other, despite being married to men. Their coming out processes are different, and a huge strain is put on the clandestine relationship they’re having as a result; yes, they do cheat on their husbands, but the way it unfolds you can’t help thinking it was how it should be.

This was all happening over twenty years ago when it was still difficult for women to come out, leave their husbands and not fear that their children would be taken away from them. All of that is so raw in the telling—as a reader you’re feeling all of the emotions, the struggles, the heartaches as Sallyanne narrates the journey, and you cheer for both of them, every step of the way. It’s lovely but here’s a warning: do not read without some tissues at your side

 


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