Starting Over by Jen Silver was part of a challenge to get my wife (Tamara) to enjoy lesbian literature. This is her review.
Starting Over by Jen Silver is a story about two women whose relationship seems to have fizzled to an end when the normally stable one, Ellie, has an affair with a sexy, intellectual archaeologist.
The book starts off with one of the most awkward and hilarious visits that I have ever read. Robin and Ellie are estranged but still living together in a remote farm in the English countryside. While they are waiting for Eliie’s son and his girlfriend to arrive for a visit one of Robin’s recent flings arrives, followed by another one, and the woman Ellie had an affair with.
Ellie’s world is turned on its head when her archaeologist lover discovers an ancient roman settlement on her property. All of sudden the normally reclusive Ellie has to deal with having people in her space and the media circus that comes with such a big discovery.
Ellie Winters, a quiet secluded potter lives on a remote farm with her long-term lover Robin Fanshawe. They own a small pottery business that Robin manages while Ellie makes the pottery.
On the other side is Robin, who is 10 years younger than Ellie, rides a motorbike and has a way with women. Robin has not always been faithful to Ellie but even through her flings the two seemed to have a relationship that worked for them.
I didn’t like Ellie, but I think that is just a personal thing. I do not like women who expect others to take care of them. The indecision and ‘poor me’ syndrome irritate me. But I think that was the point. They were all so unique that you loved and hated them. A sign of Silver’s superior author prowess.
I liked Robin and I was rooting for her get her happiness, even if that meant getting back to Ellie.
The Writing Style
While this book does have its funny moments, the story really is one of discovery. Of two people re-finding themselves and trying to work out their relationship.
Some of the issues the book deals with are quite heavy, but Jen Silver never lets the book become depressing. Instead the story unfolds gently.
I love that this book is set in the English countryside (I’m a sucker for that). I also loved the cute touches like the visit I mentioned above when the hoard of visitors arrived.
I found Ellie a little annoying. People have to tip toe around her because she is too delicate to handle anything which made me wonder why anyone would want to be with her. But I liked Robin enough to offset this.
I also really do not like this cover. It doesn’t do the book justice and lets it down. I also believe that it makes the book look a lot less professional than it actually is. The writing is good and isn’t reflected in the imagery chosen.
This is a gentle read that explores the intricacies of a relationship and what it means to different people. It’s an awesome read for people who like happy endings and for those who like to take a peak into other people’s lives.
I enjoyed the book and would recommend it.
Excerpt from Starting over by Jen Silver
“Looks good, Rob.” Ellie had come in quietly and was leaning against the doorframe, her hands still covered in wet clay.
Putting her paintbrush down, Robin went over to her and lightly brushed the loose strands of blonde hair away from her face. “So do you.”
Ellie sidestepped her before she could move in for a kiss. “Don’t. I’m not in the mood.”
“No, I guess not.” Robin stood still, looking down at the earthen floor.
“Why is she coming here?” “She asked.” “You could’ve said no. We had an agreement…”
“I know. But, well, things have moved on a bit. She wants to see where I live. And, she wants to meet you.”
“Why? So we can compare notes?” Ellie paused. Looking up, Robin could see plainly the pain in her normally clear blue eyes. “Like what a shithead you are,” she added before turning and stalking out.
Buy this book on Amazon
Bits and Bobs
The Starling Hill trilogy by Jen Silver
ASIN number: B00O2NV686
Publisher: Affinity eBook Press NZ
Note: I received a free review copy of this book for review. No money was exchanged for this review. I will always endeavour to review books as honestly as possible and on occasion I refuse to review books.