A Little Less than Love? By Carys Smith.


Book Review by Cari Mayhew.  Rating 5/10.



Warning – this is not a feel-good book!  And, to be honest, almost every single character got on my nerves!  It’s a book about relationships and has several different themes regarding relationships.



When I read the blurb on the back of the book, I could see that Leece, the female central character, was suffering a dilemma as to whether to purposely rediscover past times that she had willfully forgotten.  This is at times a dilemma for myself, which is why I decided to read the book.



Despite the focus being on 2 same sex relationships encountered by, Lecce, her sexuality is by no means the only reason for the relationship complexities.



The storytelling begins with Lecce discovering a Pandora’s box of letters, handwritten notes, and diaries, that she had completely forgotten about.  The first being from an infatuation and love affair with a charismatic older woman, Dian.  Although the two were close and were together every week, Dian would never dream of leaving her husband for Lecce.



The second of these 2 relationships begins when the young, and perhaps somewhat troubled, Karin takes a shine to Lecce.  What starts as friendship, turns into a dark and seedy secret, and quickly descends to an unhealthy and abusive relationship.



Knitted around these relationships are thoughts from other characters, which is where more complexity comes in.  There is much insecurity, jealousy, and selfishness.



The meat of the story is in how the abusive relationship between Lecce and Karin comes to its end (no spoilers!).



In fairness, I have to say the author’s scene setting is above par. I came across this book at a meeting of my local library’s book club.  Although we haven’t discussed it yet, I can see there are several points for discussion.



The style of the book is very fragmented – and not just because of the postcards, letters, and diaries entries, but also because it tells the story from several viewpoints and points in time.  I often began to feel I had missed huge sections of the story, but it wasn’t I who had missed sections – it was the author!  Oftentimes passages weren’t labeled “past” or “present” and I was left to guess where I was in the story.



Throughout the book, I felt compelled to read on.  To be honest, the main reason for the relatively poor rating is that the book tended, overall, to bring me down.  It’s given me some insight into what life may be like for some (not all) gay women.


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