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‘Turn for Home’ by Lara Zielinsky

‘Turn for Home’ by Lara Zielinsky

Author: Victoria Brownworth

October 28, 2010

Turn for Home is a romance novel about late-blooming lesbian love and the conflicts that can come with a heterosexual past and bisexual present.

Brenna Lanigan is discovering lesbian love for the first time in her adult life with, of all people, a co-star on “Time Trails,” the TV show she stars in. A veteran of heterosexual relationships, having had two husbands and numerous affairs with men, now that Cassidy Hyland has come into her life, Brenna is smitten beyond any of her previous experiences. She wants to talk to Cassidy every night, she wants to share everything with her. Unfortunately, Brenna’s two teenaged sons–17-year-old Thomas and 15-year-old Kevin–are none too keen on spending time with the other woman, sensing something is up with their mother and Cassidy.

The story is complicated by Cassidy’s estranged husband who is fighting her for custody of their five-year-old son, Ryan. Mitch isn’t the kind of guy to give up easily–he had expected to woo Cassidy back when the show ended, but now that he’s discovered through the tabloids that Cassidy is spending time with Brenna, he’s thoroughly enraged.

Mitch plots to win his son back. He lures Cassidy away from the set and assaults her, injuring her so badly her heart is damaged. Cassidy grants temporary custody of Ryan to Brenna as she goes into surgery. The two are officially a couple.

The plot gets more complicated from there as Brenna loses another role because she’s now typecast as lesbian and the two face other conflicts, including problems with their children and the three former husbands.

What keeps Turn for Home from being successful is a plethora of secondary and tertiary characters taking page time away from the main characters and creating unnecessary subplots that veer away from the central storyline and are also not compelling. In addition, Cassidy’s estranged husband is almost caricaturishly evil and violent–more a stock character from an episode of “Jerry Springer” than a man we could believe a woman like Cassidy would ever have been involved with. The scene in which he attacks her is incredibly brutal and the entire story pivots on this event and her slow recovery.

Brenna and Cassidy are engaging characters, but while the two move toward happily ever after (albeit with Cassidy still in a wheelchair), the story of how they get there has far too many stumbling blocks along the way to keep the reader interested.
by Lara Zielinsky
P.D. Publishing
Paperback, 9781933720746, $16.99

Victoria Brownworth photo

About: Victoria Brownworth

Victoria A. Brownworth is an award-winning journalist, editor and writer and the author and editor of nearly 30 books. She has won the NLGJA and the Society of Professional Journalists awards, the Lambda Literary Award and has been nominated for the Pulitzer Prize. She won the 2013 SPJ Award for Enterprise Reporting in May 2014. She is a regular contributor to The Advocate and SheWired, a blogger for Huffington Post and A Room of Her Own, a columnist and contributing editor for Curve magazine and Lambda Literary Review and a columnist for San Francisco Bay Area Reporter. Her reporting and commentary have appeared in the New York Times, Village Voice, Baltimore Sun, Los Angeles Times, Boston Globe, Philadelphia Inquirer, The Nation, Ms Magazine and Slate. Her book, 'From Where We Sit: Black Writers Write Black Youth' won the 2012 Moonbeam Award for cultural & historical fiction. Her new novel, 'Ordinary Mayhem,' won the IPPY Award for fiction on May 1, 2015. Her book 'Erasure: Silencing Lesbians' and her next novel, 'Sleep So Deep,' will both be published in 2016. @VABVOX

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