Jean Swallow A Woman Determined

ISBN 13: 9781883523282

A Woman Determined

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9781883523282: A Woman Determined
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From Publishers Weekly:

"If you want to know what really happened, you ask someone who was there, just like you are doing with me, right?" Swallow replicates the methods of journalism and oral history in this disturbing, posthumously published novel about shifting perceptions. At its outset, Margaret Donovan, founder and former director of a women's health center, is being interviewed for an article about women who've made a difference in Seattle's lesbian community. But the unnamed interviewer quickly takes a back seat to the novel's two narrators: the staunch and hearty Donovan and her attorney, Laura Gilbert, who represents Donovan after she's injured in a car accident. The accident comes at a turning point for both women?Donovan's clinic is in financial peril, and Gilbert is undergoing a crisis of faith about her law practice. Did Donovan mismanage clinic funds? Who was at fault in the accident? Did Donovan resign, or was she forced out of her job at the clinic? In alternating monologues, both women tell the truth as they see it, and make the "interview" a platform from which to address larger issues of justice and personal responsibility. "I needed the ambiguities of real people," says Gilbert. It is precisely these ambiguities that Swallow (Leave a Light On for Me) portrays. Readers looking for the "real" truth will be disappointed: Swallow tries hard to give her paired, conflicting narratives equal weight as their complex, forthright tellers do their best to recount and make meaning from the past they share.
Copyright 1998 Reed Business Information, Inc.

Review:

In this novel, two women tell the story of an automobile accident, in which one was the victim and the other her attorney. Although they are both members of a close-knit lesbian community in Seattle, their views are profoundly different, as expressed in their convincingly distinct voices and approaches to life. Margaret Donovan, the accident victim and former Women's Health Clinic administrator, is forthright, action-oriented, and at times, strident. She is in a great deal of pain both because of her leg injury in the accident and because her ex-lover embezzled from the clinic. Laura Gilbert, Margaret's attorney, is more reserved and analytical. Both women are determined, as suggested by the book's title, in completely different ways. During the course of the novel, both examine their lives and careers, as well as their interaction and eventual falling out with one another. Both wind up being intolerant of the other's character flaws. Jean Swallow has made both women compelling characters in this complex and difficult situation. The mid-life issues they face are real: the realization that liking yourself is more important than having other people like you, as well as the struggle to accept your limitations. When Laura remarks, "You know enough by now to know that things aren't as simple as we hope," she emphasizes the gulf between the orderly purposeful world we would like, and the chaotic, often unfair world we find waiting for us. -- From Independent Publisher

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Jean Swallow
Published by Spinsters Ink Books (1998)
ISBN 10: 1883523281 ISBN 13: 9781883523282
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Jean Swallow
Published by Spinsters Ink (1998)
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