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    Unexpected, but Interesting

    I received a review copy of this book in return for an honest review. Dressing Lily centers around a young lesbian woman's trials and tribulations in the 1960s United States. The protagonist, Olivia, is a well-intentioned, yet clumsy young woman who has never deviated from the path set out before her. Yet after a chance encounter with the woman of her dreams-and the subsequent discovery of her affair-she's shipped off to live with her birth mother in New Orleans. There, she learns to navigate the harsher realities of the world, desperate to find a way back home and to the woman she loves. For me, what set Dressing Lily apart from other lesbian romances is that the book focuses more on Olivia's journey than on her individual relationships. Through Olivia, readers take a trip through the lives of lesbians-and women in general-in the 1960s, small town and big city both. Siobhan doesn't sugar-coat anything; the women in Dressing Lily have it tough, facing violence from men, difficulty with the law, and exposure to drugs and various other things. Despite that, there's an over-arching theme of happy endings, which serves to curb some of the sharper edges slightly. There are some parts of the story that feel like they could do with more flushing out, particularly at the end. It's possible that this is due to the fact that Siobhan weaves together the stories of several women despite how short the book is. I also found myself somewhat disengaged with most of Olivia's romances, for various reasons. Ultimately, I'd say this book is for someone who's looking for a story about lesbian women, rather than a romance between two women.
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