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Preface. Acknowledgments. New Introduction. Original Introduction. Part I: The Discovery. Awakening. What Am I? What Now? Part II: A New Life. Do I Tell My Husband or Not? The Husbands. What Do the Kids Think? Coming Out to Friends and Family. Part III: Options. The Reality of Marriage. Redefined Marriages. The Single Lovers of Married Women. Labeling: Lesbian or Bisexual. Part IV: Selfhood. Sexual Intimacy. New Beginnings. Appendix: Where to Turn for Help and Information. Notes. Glossary: Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Terminology. Selected Bibliography. Additional Reading.
In her first outing as an author as well as a self-avowed married woman who loves women, Strock offers a touching if ultimately unilluminating compilation of insights and information gleaned from herself and from many other women in the same complex situation. After spending decades cocooned in marriage, motherhood and a busy, brownie-baking suburban lifestyle, Strock moved into New York City with her husband to begin the empty-nest chapter of her life. Completely unscripted, however, was how Strock fell in love with her best friend, Toby, and saw her old world blow apart as a consequence. The sting of rejection by Toby, coupled by the awakening of an entirely new kind of desire, pulled Strock into the complicated process of coming out. Although Strock told her husband, her grown children and her closest friends of her dawning lesbianism, she and her husband decided to continue living together. Through dialogues with over 100 women contacted through ads and fliers, Strock here attempts to grapple with the difficult particulars of such a friendship. Not surprisingly, Strock's subjects differ about how to balance love affairs and a marriage‘and many live lives of quiet or noisy desperation. Why would the men stay? Love and habit, the handful of men interviewed concur. Strock's work gives the impression that being a married lesbian is often a painful and uneasy compromise. Still, as the men and women here attest, love does find a way. (Jan.)