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Patience and Sarah by Isabel Miller

Patience and Sarah (1969)

by Isabel Miller

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3.75 stars. it surprises me how much i liked this. i can't point to exactly why, but it's sweetly satisfying. the writing is good - in some places even quite good. the voices of patience and sarah are distinct and compelling. it reads easily and realistically (except perhaps for how quickly the two fell in love). there is quite a bit of sex (although mostly off page or at least left undescribed); the writing is straightforward and all in all this was a refreshing read that i really liked. i have a feeling that there are things in here that may bother me on a second reading, but this time around, for some reason, it all rang true to me.

"Time enough later to teach her that it's better to be a real woman than an imitation man, and that when someone chooses a woman to go away with it's because a woman is what's preferred."

"Going couldn't be fast enough or hard enough to suit me. I wanted to walk till my feet bled and my knuckles dragged and my belly broke, to see if maybe I could hurt enough someplace else to tire out the knot in my chest."

"I felt her take my hand. I heard her say, 'Come on,' and I stood up ready to go anywhere, to her bed or off a cliff or into the fire, anywhere she took me."

"I held Sarah's hand and felt the ancient sea and the new wheels carry us to a life we had no pattern for, that no one we knew of had ever lived, that we must invent for ourselves on a razor's edge, and I tipped my head back and sang three hallelujahs." ( )
  elisa.saphier | Oct 26, 2016 |
Patience and Sarah was first self-published by the author in 1969. It became popular and eventually found a publisher and was the recipient of the American Library Association’s first Stonewall Book Award in 1971. It’s a historical novel based on the life of Mary Ann Willson, a painter who lived with her companion Miss Brundage in a log cabin on a few acres of farm land in the early 19th century in Greene County, New York.

Patience and Sarah alternates between the first person narrations of the two women. Actress Jean Smart is Patience. Her melodic, almost hypnotic voice is perfect for the refined Patience. Singer-songwriter Janis Ian is Sarah. Her voice is perfectly aligned with Sarah’s naïve and rough around the edges personality.

Patience and Sarah is a wonderful love story. The prose evokes the emotions between the two women perfectly. I liked that this novel had a generally positive atmosphere about it, although the women definitely faced obstacles. Sarah’s father beat her when he found out about her relationship with Patience and Patience’s brother asked Patience to leave town when he found out. But so many lesbian novels, especially from the period this book was published and before, never let the gay characters be truly happy because the publishers felt like the characters had to atone or be made to suffer in some way to counteract their “sin” of being gay.

I’m not surprised that this audiobook has been nominated for the Grammy award for Best Spoken Word Album. It was a pleasure to listen to. Crossing my fingers that it wins! ( )
  mcelhra | Dec 8, 2015 |
A romance set in the 19th century between 2 women. I thought this was a lovely book. ( )
  DanielleMD | Jun 20, 2015 |
So sweet and innocent, but in its day quite the must read (there were so few books dealing openly with love between women). ( )
  jarvenpa | Mar 31, 2013 |
Set in New England in the early 19th century, Patience and Sarah depicts the arduous journey of two unlikely lovers as they struggle to break free from social conventions and their own doubts to find 'a place for us'. It is much better written - and infinitely sexier - than the more widely known lesbian classic Rubyfruit Jungle. An undervalued treasure. ( )
  whirled | Apr 14, 2011 |
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Miss Wilson & Miss Brundidge
who, quite a while ago, lived something
like it, this book is lovingly
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One way Martha wanted me out of her kitchen, but another way she didn't want me burning wood to keep just myself warm.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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"Patience and Sarah" originally published as "A Place for Us"
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In the early 1800's, Patience and Sarah fall in love.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0449210073, Mass Market Paperback)

In the early nineteenth century, in a puritanical New England town, two women fall in love. With no one to guide or support them, Patience and Sarah try to follow their hearts. Defying society and history, they buy a farm and discover they can live together, away from the world that had sought to limit them and their love . . .

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:19:38 -0400)

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An edition of this book was published by Audible.com.

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Arsenal Pulp Press

An edition of this book was published by Arsenal Pulp Press.

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