Patience and Sarah by Isabel Miller
Also available directly from Janis Ian’s webstore.
GRAMMY Award nominated for “Best Spoken Word”
Short Review: Touching lesbian love story, set in early 1800s and read beautifully. The two readers each read the portion of the story told from a single point of view. It really works.
Long Review: Originally self-published in 1969, this love story is set in the early 1800s in New England. It tells the story of the love found by Patience White (maiden aunt and painter) and Sarah Dowling (farmer’s daughter, cast in life as farmer’s son for practicality) in a world that mostly believed such a thing was neither possible nor permissible. The story alternates points of views between Patience and Sarah, to great effect. They are such different people, but you can see where their love comes from. The contrast of their backgrounds, and their expectations for their lives, make the story all the more compelling.
I don’t want to spoil the story for you, but it isn’t hard to assume from the premise that there will be plenty of challenges laid in their paths. It is a story of what it means to both fall in love and *be* in love. We are taken into the hearts of Patience and Sarah, but at the same time given a taste of what their worlds were like. What does it mean to fight for love? When is the fight too much — what is worth sacrifice and what is not?
There are so many other things I loved about this book. I loved seeing painting and color through Patience’s eyes. I loved Sarah’s practicality and straight forwardness. The supporting characters are varied and interesting, the path of the story less predictable then you might expect. The author created a vivid world that I really enjoyed visiting.
Both readers do an amazing job, each giving us a glimpse into their respective character’s mind – as well as providing easy to distinguish voices for the other members of the story. The two SoundCloud clips below give you a small taste of each of the readers and a toe in the water of the story they tell. They both made it so easy to get lost in the story. This is definitely a “find more excuses to keep listening” audio book.