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Patience and Sarah by Isabel Miller

Patience and Sarah (1969)

by Isabel Miller

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5421218,513 (3.87)20

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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 |
Patience and Sarah is a classic lesbian love story about two women who fall in love despite society's pressure to get married. It's notable in that it has a happy ending, where they get what they want. A lot of lesbian literature of the time is missing the happy endings.

It's an easy, sweet read. The two women meet and fall in love which is quite charming. They face the usual amount of pressure from family and friends, both grow and become stronger. What I liked about it is the way the equality of their union is shown. They are shown as partners, more so as the story progresses. At times one will take the lead, but it shifts between them so they avoid becoming a man and a woman. It is idealised, shown to be a perfect relationship with all models of male/female relationships being oppresive and damaging. It does read a little like a fairy tale. There are obsticles but they're not really a problem to overcome.

It's fun, sweet and easy to read. Worth the effort though nothing earth moving. ( )
  TPauSilver | Aug 2, 2012 |
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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Important places
Important events
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Awards and honors
Miss Wilson & Miss Brundidge
who, quite a while ago, lived something
like it, this book is lovingly
First words
One way Martha wanted me out of her kitchen, but another way she didn't want me burning wood to keep just myself warm.
Last words
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
Disambiguation notice
"Patience and Sarah" originally published as "A Place for Us"
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Book description
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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An edition of this book was published by Arsenal Pulp Press.

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