Title: Getting Back
Author Name & Publisher: Cindy Rizzo (Yiva Publishing)
Publication Date & Length: October 15, 2015 – 299 pgs
Elizabeth Morrison has ascended the ranks of her industry and now runs one of the most successful publishing companies in the US. But even after three decades, she has never been able to get past the devastating end of her relationship with the beautiful and brilliant Ruth Abramson. As Elizabeth approaches her 30th college reunion, she must face the woman who long ago acceded to the demands of her father, a famous Russian dissident, and married the young man who’d been chosen for her. It doesn’t make it any easier that Ruth, now divorced and living openly as a lesbian, is the class luncheon speaker.
As the two women face one another and attempt to reconcile their past, Elizabeth finds she must wrestle with a number of issues she has avoided confronting. And she must carefully decide whether she is more distrustful of Ruth or of herself. Is she headed for another fall with this woman? Or does she want to get close again, so she can be the one to walk away?
When it comes to reuniting with the love of your life, it’s not always easy to know the difference between getting back together and just getting back.
I was actually surprised that I liked this book as much as I did. I’m not usually one for books that have a lot of flashbacks in them. In this case, it was necessary to understand the history between Elizabeth and Ruth, and to understand the fears and overwhelming emotion Elizabeth has about Ruth. Truthfully though, the story was so engaging that I didn’t mind. I also liked how the flashbacks weren’t solely centered on their relationship in the ’70s. I thought the passages about 9/11 were especially interesting, and they give people who weren’t there just a bit of how it felt to be there and to have loved ones in the area and not know whether or not they survived, and not be able to find out.
The part I had a hard time with, and I know this is my own problem, is that thirty years is a long time to carry a torch for someone who treated you so poorly. Part of me thinks it’s sweet and romantic, but the larger part is just thinking, get over it already. Thirty years that she never contacted you, never apologized, never tried to resolve anything, even after she was divorced and finally out as a lesbian. That being said, I liked how Rizzo handled the reconciliation. She didn’t immediately make everything flowers and love. Both women had things that were unresolved, that they had to get past in order to allow themselves to be open to one another again. I really liked that this part wasn’t rushed or glossed over.
This is a slower paced book, with things taking time to develop fully, and trips into the past to help the reader understand the why of the emotions these women have. Very good and if you’re looking for a well-rounded reading experience with an older couple in it, I would definitely recommend it.
This book was a wonderful read that I can’t wait to recommend to my friends. I adored the characters and caught myself holding my breath awaiting resolutions of scenes throughout the book. The back and forth between present time and the main character’s college years was smooth and easy to follow. I couldn’t put it down, I just had to know what was going to happen next! There was plenty of nail biting, sighs of relief, tearing up, chuckling and smiling like a fool to be had.
Well written, edited and formatted I found very few errors and those which were present weren’t enough to cause me to stop reading. The plot moved along at a good pace without rushing or stalling out and the ending was perfect. I’ll definitely be passing word about this book along to fellow readers!
Cindy Rizzo lives in New York City with her partner, Jennifer, and the requisite two cats issued to every lesbian household (well, most). She has worked in philanthropy for many years and has a long history of involvement in the LGBT community, including membership on the founding board of Gay & Lesbian Advocates and Defenders (GLAD), the organization that first brought marriage equality to the US. In the 1970s and 1980s she wrote for Boston’s Gay Community News and has published essays in the anthologies, Lesbians Raising Sons and Homefronts: Controversies in Non-Traditional Parenting. She was the co-editor of a fiction anthology, All the Ways Home, published in 1995 (New Victoria) in which her story “Herring Cove” was included. She serves on the boards of Congregation Beth Simchat Torah in New York and Funders for LGBT Issues. She is the mother, and her partner is the step-mother, of two grown sons and a wonderful daughter-in-law.