Author: Carol E. Anderson
Publisher: She Writes Press
Publication Date: 17. Oktober 2017
Rating: 3./5. Stars
Diversity: LGBT Characters (lesbian)
TW: religious homophobia, drug use (marijuana)
Summary: Carol Anderson grows up in a fundamentalist Christian home in the ’60s, a time when being gay was in opposition to all social and religious mores and against the law in most states. Fearing the rejection of her parents, she hides the truth about her love orientation, creating emotional distance from them for years, as she desperately struggles to harness her powerful attractions to women while pursuing false efforts to be with men.
The watershed point in Carol’s journey comes when she returns to graduate school and discovers the feminist movement, which emboldens her sense of personal power and the freedom to love whom she chooses. But this sense of self-possession comes too late for honesty with her father. His unexpected death before she can tell him the truth brings the full cost of Carol’s secret crashing in–compelling her to come out to her mother before it is too late. Candid and poignant, You Can’t Buy Love Like That reveals the complex invisible dynamics that arise for gay people who are forced to hide their true selves in order to survive–and celebrates the hard-won rewards of finding one’s courageous heart and achieving self-acceptance and self-love.
Disclaimer: I received an e-copy of this book on NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
This is an open and honest memoir about growing up and living as a gay person in the ’60s. Having been raised in a religious household in a church that told her that being gay was wrong and a society where there was no other option presented but to be in a heterosexual marriage, Carol struggles with the attraction she feels for women and the lack of attraction she feels for men.
Her journey is a long and hard one, hiding her feelings from friends, her family, her fiance, her employer, and co-workers. She experiences first love and heartbreak in college and after she starts teaching at a small school, she also finds the feminist movement that helps her grow bolder in her personal choices.
Despite this, she still lives a Double Life, engaged to a man she doesn’t love, even though he is the best man she’s ever known and lying to her parents. When her father dies unexpectedly, she realizes that she would have loved to tell him. Now, she will never get to experience him supporting her.
This book is a quite long memoir and we follow Carol from her teenage years to her late adult life. It was fascinating for me to see how in some aspects the feminist movement of that time emboldened women to go out and live their life to the fullest, even if they still had to fear societal rejection for that.
I personally can’t imagine how hard it would be to grow up in a society where you have no role models and your feelings are not even talked about in any way. I imagine it must be very hard to figure that out then and you can see Carol’s struggles with that.
I think this was a very beautiful memoir, I enjoyed the writing style and it was a great read.