11/21/2020 0 Comments
Love in the Shadows by Maggie Doolin
Love in the Shadows is such a gripping and wonderful story of forbidden love. It follows the life of Meg Mitchell from the age of eighteen and through life, as she comes to turns with her sexuality and learns to accept herself and fight for her right to love freely. It’s also a wonderful story of friendship and bravery, and has some of the most amazing parents I’ve ever met in any book.
Growing up in a small Catholic village in rural Ireland in the 1970s when homosexuality was still a crime and repressed by both church and society, Meg has heard whispers about “lesbians” and freaks, but never thought those words would be about herself. But when she gets a new young English teacher in her final year of secondary school, she feels herself inexplicably drawn to the elegant Harriet Stewart. Her attempt to show her affection ends in disaster though, and going away to college, Meg does everything she can to put her first crush behind her. She even tries to convince herself to try and be straight and date a man to get an easier life for herself and her parents.
“Does it matter who I truly am? Okay, so his kisses don’t transport me into a different world, but they’re pleasant and enjoyable. Who needs waves of desire, a thumping heart, or a quickening pulse?” But even as she tried to convince herself of this, she had to fight to keep Harriet’s image from her mind.
The characters in this book were amazing and so relatable. I immediately rooted for both Meg and Harriet and their struggles. Meg was so incredibly brave and I just kept wishing for her happy ending all the way through the book. Given the fact that homosexuality was a crime and heavily condemned by the church, all angst and mixed feelings of love and excitement with anxiety and tension was all too understandable, and the bravery it took to choose the path Meg did despite the almost insurmountable difficulties, is admirable beyond words. I also loved so many of the secondary characters, especially Meg’s amazing and supportive parents, and Aisling and Liz, who were so wonderful, strong, courageous and fun friends that always stood by Meg no matter what.
Some parts of the book felt a bit rushed, especially the first part leading up to Meg’s graduation, and the writing was a little bit too much telling us about Meg’s feelings rather than letting us understand and feel for ourselves. I’d also loved some more background when it came to Harriet and some more information about her friends and family and past experiences to better understand why she reacted the way she did. But overall, this was truly a wonderful debut by Maggie Doolin!
This book was such an important eye-opener as to how lesbian love was forbidden as late as in the 1970s and 1980s, and the injustice in how society treated homosexuals. But most of all, it was a swooning, sweet and emotional rollercoaster for a love story, that I recommend with all my heart.
Thank you NetGalley and NineStar Press for the opportunity to read this wonderful book in exchange for an honest review!
4.5 shining new stars rounding up to 5
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All 1 Star 2 Stars 3 Stars 4 Stars 5 Stars Abbi Glines Abdi Nazemian Adam Silvera Adib Khorram Aiden Thomas Aisha Saeed Aislinn Brophy AJ Collins Alexandra Christo Alex Beltran Alexene Farol Follmuth Alexis Hall Alex Kelly Alex Sanchez Alice Dolman Alice Oseman Ali Hazelwood Alison Cochrun Al Riske Alwyn Hamilton Amanda Ferreira A. Meredith Walters Amy Aislin Amy Harmon Amy S. Foster Amy Spalding André Aciman Andy V Roamer Angie Thomas Annabeth Albert A. Poland Ashley Poston Ashley Woodfolk Ashlyn Kane Audrey Coulthurst Becca Fitzpatrick Becky Albertalli Benjamin Alire Saenz Beth Bolden Bill Konigsberg B.L. Maxwell Briar Prescott Bri Spicer Brooke Skipstone Cale Dietrich Casey McQuiston Cassandra Clare C.F. White C.G. Drews Charli Meadows Chris Bedell Ciara Smyth Clarissa Pattern C.L. Beaumont Colette Davison Colleen Hoover Crystal Frasier C.S. Pacat Daven McQueen David Biddle David Yoon Dean Atta Debbie McGowan Debbie Rigaud Debbie Schrack Deborah Harkness Delia Owens D.G. Carothers Dhonielle Clayton Douglas Stuart Dustin Thao Elisa A. Bonnin Elizabeth Acevedo Elizabeth Arroyo Elle Kennedy Elle Wright E. Lockhart Emily M. Danforth Emily Mims Erin Watt Ernest Cline Evan J. Corbin Eve Morton Everina Maxwell Evie Dunmore Felice Stevens Grace Williams Gwen Martin Hanya Yanagihara Hayden Stone Heather Truett H.E. Edgmon Hettie Bell Holly Black Hope Irving Hudson Lin Ingrid Sterling Jacqueline Lee Jacqueline Woodson James L. Sutter Jamie Deacon Jandy Nelson Jax Calder Jay Hogan Jeanette Winterson Jeff Zentner Jen Bailey Jenna Evans Welch Jenn Burke Jennifer E. Smith Jennifer G. Edelson Jennifer Gilmore Jennifer Iacopelli Jennifer Kropf Jennifer Niven Jenny Downham Jenny Han Jeremy Ray Jesse H. Reign Joelle Lynne John Green Jonny Garza Villa Julianne Donaldson Julian Winters Kacen Callender Kami Garcia Kara Leigh Miller Kasie West Kate Larkindale Katharine McGee Kathleen Mareé KD Casey Kendall Grey Kevin Van Whye Kiley Reid Kim Fielding Kim Holden Kim Liggett Kitty Bardot Kris Ripper K.S. Marsden Laura Hall Laura Pavlov Laura Silverman Lauren James Laurie Frankel Leah Johnson Lee Matthew Goldberg Leigh Bardugo Leylah Attar Lisa Henry Lisa Williamson Lisa Wingate Liv Rancourt Liz Plum Lola Noire Lynn Michaels Mackenzi Lee Madeline Miller Magdalena Di Sotru Maggie Doolin Maggie Stiefvater Malin Persson Giolito Malorie Blackman Margaret Stohl Marie Lu Mary E. Pearson Mason Deaver Matthew R. Corr Melina Marchetta Meredith Russo Miel Moreland Mila Gray Miranda Kenneally Moa Backe Astot Morgan James M. Tasia Nancy Garden Natalie Haynes Nicholas Sparks Nicola Yoon Nic Starr Nic Stone Nina Kenwood Nita Tyndall Nora Sakavic N.R. Walker Owen Lach Penny Aimes Phil Stamper Quinn Anderson Rachael Brownell Rachael Lippincott Rachel Hawkins Rainbow Rowell Ray Stoeve Renée Dahlia Rhiannon Wilde Riley Hart River Braun Roan Parrish Robin Gow Roseanne A. Brown Rowan MacKemsley Ruby Moone Ruta Sepetys Ryan La Sala Sally Green Sally Rooney Sarah J. Maas Sarah Waters Sarina Bowen Sasha Laurens Saundra Mitchell Saxon James Serena Bell Shannon O’Connor Sidney Bell Simone Elkeles Siryn Sueng Sophia DeRise Sophia Soames Sophie Gonzales S.R. Lane Stephen Chbosky Stephenie Meyer Steven Salvatore Susan Mac Nicol Suzanne Collins Tahereh Mafi Tal Bauer Tamara Girardi Teagan Hunter Terry J. Benton-Walker Tiffany D. Jackson Timothy Janovsky T.J. Klune T.L. Bradford Tobly McSmith Tomasz Jedrowski Tomi Adeyemi Tracy Deonn Val Wise Veronica Rossi Veronica Roth V.E. Schwab Victor Dixen Victoria Aveyard V.L. Stuart Wesley Chu Xan Van Rooyen Yamile Saied Méndez