Book Cover for HomecomingA lesbian romance for those longing for a slow exploration of mutual attraction.

Susan has been a favourite author of mine for a long time. When I need a comfort read All That Matters, Arbor Vitae, and Cherry Grove are my trusty choices. I like that she takes her time to develop the story, the characters, and the romance. She definitely is a master of romance and a slow burn. So I picked up her new book with glee and had a good time reading, or rather savouring it.

Jill, a lesbian, soon-to-be forty, has found a good place in life but has yet to find her life partner. Her family is, by all means, dysfunctional, with no emotional connectedness whatsoever. We meet Jill coming back home to rural Vermont. After many years of absence, she is visiting her former family of choice, the rambunctious Davis clan, which adopted her during high school. She reconnects with all of them and mostly with the youngest sibling, Lizzie, who was still very young when she left home for college.

No big surprise that the protagonists for the romance to be are Jill and Lizzie. And Susan does a wonderful job of exploring the budding relationship between the main characters and bringing depth, sweetness, and emotion to the story. Susan not only has the attraction between the two of them on a slow, tantalizing burn, but the story is also brimming with her love for Vermont and the outdoors—so much so that you can nearly smell the peonies in bloom, see the lake in summer, and feel the sun on your skin. This alone would make for a good read if you are looking for a well-developed romance.

But Susan adds something more to the pot: Bisexuality. And three cheers for her ability to explore the nooks and crannies of a lesbian falling for someone bi. Three cheers for showing how difficult coming out is for them and why. There is still a lot of mis- or even non-understanding of the B people in LGBTQI and Susan folds this strand seamlessly into her story about finding love and your life partner. I especially liked how the Davis clan reacts to Lizzie’s revelation, showing humanity in all its varieties.

As always, Susan’s prose flows exceptionally well and the editing is aboveboard (kudos to the publisher: when there was a formatting error discovered, they fixed the problem promptly and send out new e-books immediately). If you like a slow exploration of mutual attraction without hurry and pressure to end within 200 pages, this is a good choice for a leisurely read.