Beers, Georgia. “Olive Oil and White Bread”, Bywater Books, 2014.
Angie Righetti and Jillian Clark come from different backgrounds. Angie’s Italian-American family is large and the members are close to each other. She’s out, proud and has her family’s blessing. Jillian, on the other hand, do even want t consider Her sexuality. They set up house together in 1988 just as both women are starting out in their careers and they believe that their partnership will be forever and, indeed, it seems that way for 23 years.
We are with them as they come together and like all couples they experience periods of great joy and days of sadness; they deal with the mundane issues of married life; they buy a house and get a dog; the fight and make up and continually try to keep their love alive and their romance strong. But like everything else, things become routine.
All of us knows that routine can happen in any relationship and partners really have to work hard to keep things going in many cases. On the other hand, routine can lead to distraction and distraction can cause a relationship to fail. In fiction, we usually only get to read about the good aspects of relationships but it is also part of life to go through bad times. Georgia Beers captures that beautifully here as she answers the questions of “what happens to lovers after the happy-ever-after moment and what goes on behind the closed doors of a relationship once the commitment is made? What happens to a relationship with the passage of time? Often it is the changes we go through helps us to keep a relationship fresh and it is love that sees us through them.
We really get to know Angie and Jillian—we meet them when they meet each other and we are there through all of the vicissitudes of their being together. Beers gives us two very real characters that we can identify with and as we read that are many, “I’ve been there” moments. In fact this is not just Angie and Jillian’s story—it is the story of so many people and sexuality is just one of the aspects of it. Relationships do not come all wrapped up and tied with a bow and many times we forget that they are based on compromise. It is to Beers credit that she is able to pull us in and keep us reading. The prose is fresh and crisp, the characters are real and the plot is life.