How much courage does it take to be yourself? In a decade when good girls conform to strict family and social expectations, Beatrice Darby is about to find out. After a harmless admiration for her older boss, sophisticated Abby Gill, blossoms into a full-blown crush, Beatrice is startled to discover why she’s never felt like other girls.
She soon learns the necessity of “passing,” the shame of secret “sin,” and the pressure to meet family expectations, all while suffering the angst of unrequited love and the disastrous end to her friendship with college roommate and future sister-in-law, Gwen Ridgeway. When Abby reappears years later, can Beatrice go against all she’s ever known to be happy? Will she have to choose between honesty and her family?
It is rare for me not to find some aspect of a book that I do not have an issue with so can you imagine how stunning a read this must be that I loved every single part of it. The story takes place in the late 1950’s and 60’s and the author reflected this era remarkably well from society's beliefs regarding women and gays down to the style of language used back then. Character development is outstanding for all the characters, even the minor ones. This book takes place around the main character Beatrice Darby, who is intelligent, resolute, and does not feel ashamed for being a lesbian. Even with her family, they could love her as who she is or not be a part of her life at all. Beatrice worked hard to have the life she wanted therefore not giving into the standards of that time or her mother pushing nonstop for her to wed due to the importance of her being true to herself. Through all of this, the author found ways to inject a great amount of humor.
While reading The Revelation of Beatrice Darby, I felt like I was actually living in that era through someone else’s eyes. As a lesbian in today's world, I am still not an equal, but it is not as dire as it was back then. Sadly, this read tells perfectly what the role of the woman during that time was to be and that was to get married, have children and keep your husband happy. Even if a woman got the opportunity to go to college it was to meet a man. This book will make you cry, it will make you laugh, and jump for joy while people fight for what is right. This is Jean Copeland's first book. I am waiting impatiently for her next.
“Your father was a no-account who had me squeezing nickels
till Jefferson farted”
~Beatrice imitating her mother
Thank you Netgalley for letting me give an honest review