‘Pages for Her’ is a Thoughtful Exploration of How Relationships Change Us

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Looking for another book to add to your summer reading? I received a copy of this page-turner and I’m excited to share my thoughts before you buy, but you absolutely should buy. First, from the publisher:

Two smart, accomplished women reunite in their 30s/40s after nearly two decades apart to see if their romantic love is still as real as it is in their memories.

Intrigued?

Pages for Her is the story of Flannery and Anne, characters Sylvia Brownrigg first introduced in her 2001 novel, Pages for You, winner of a 2002 Lambda Literary Award. (Though Pages for Her is that book’s sequel, it can easily be understood without having read the earlier title.) Shifting between the women’s perspectives, Pages for Her picks up twenty years after a brief, intense romance between the two that occurred when Flannery was an undergrad at Yale and Anne her TA.

Two decades on, the women live on opposite coasts and lead very different lives. Anne is an academic, recently split from her longtime partner because of his desire to have children. Flannery, a writer who had significant success with her first book, now barely writes at all, her life consumed by her marriage to a well-known and difficult male artist, and the raising of their young daughter. An invitation to a conference offers the opportunity for Flannery and Anne to see one another, and much of the novel is spent in the build-up to this reunion. Memories and flashback fill in much of what has happened since the two women were last together, and the book is made up of a series of short, zippy chapters.

Using the two women’s different perspectives, Brownrigg considers a number of weighty topics: bisexuality, love, motherhood, parenting, writing, and the many crossroads that are reached in life. The idea of reuniting with a long-lost love is an appealing one, and Brownrigg handles it with delicacy and insight, suggesting that such love never truly goes away. As Flannery, who is spurred on creatively after her reunion with Anne, writes: “‘You lost people. You found people. One person in particular was there all along, though you had not allowed yourself to know it.’”

Though the pacing of the book is languid and the language occasionally suffers from a tendency towards the overly sentimental, the ideas that Pages for Her contemplate extend well beyond the cliches of romance to offer an insightful consideration of the unexpected ways that relationships shape and change us.

Read the first few pages of the book HERE and you can order a copy HERE.

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