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Singing Her Alive: A Fictional Memoir

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After losing her grandmother, Sarah returns to help clear out the old homestead. She discovers several diaries and learns her grandmother has a surprising secret past. As her grandmothers past unfolds in the diaries, her own future plans become entangled. Will the past reach out to touch her in the present and influence her decision to either stay in the old homestead or r After losing her grandmother, Sarah returns to help clear out the old homestead. She discovers several diaries and learns her grandmother has a surprising secret past. As her grandmothers past unfolds in the diaries, her own future plans become entangled. Will the past reach out to touch her in the present and influence her decision to either stay in the old homestead or return to her life in the city?


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After losing her grandmother, Sarah returns to help clear out the old homestead. She discovers several diaries and learns her grandmother has a surprising secret past. As her grandmothers past unfolds in the diaries, her own future plans become entangled. Will the past reach out to touch her in the present and influence her decision to either stay in the old homestead or r After losing her grandmother, Sarah returns to help clear out the old homestead. She discovers several diaries and learns her grandmother has a surprising secret past. As her grandmothers past unfolds in the diaries, her own future plans become entangled. Will the past reach out to touch her in the present and influence her decision to either stay in the old homestead or return to her life in the city?

28 review for Singing Her Alive: A Fictional Memoir

  1. 4 out of 5

    Connie Bombaci

    Wonderful for the history buff or anyone who loves to read memoirs! Diana K. Perkins takes us on a walk back in time through the thriving mill town of Willimantic, CT, and the difficulties - sacrifices - one encountered when working manual labor. The author reveals how decisions in life can be extremely hard, but through one's experiences, acceptance is possible. It also offers insight into the challenges that individuals faced back "in the day." Kudos to the author. This historical perspective n Wonderful for the history buff or anyone who loves to read memoirs! Diana K. Perkins takes us on a walk back in time through the thriving mill town of Willimantic, CT, and the difficulties - sacrifices - one encountered when working manual labor. The author reveals how decisions in life can be extremely hard, but through one's experiences, acceptance is possible. It also offers insight into the challenges that individuals faced back "in the day." Kudos to the author. This historical perspective needs to be retold today. While we may have "come a long way" from the 1890's, we still have a long way to go.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Candace

    There are different strains of writing within what might be called "lesbian literature." We have writers producing works that range all the way from extremely professional to unpolished or under-edited or clumsily executed. At the less-slick end of the lesbian fiction continuum I make a distinction between those authors who just don't seem to know how to write a gripping story and those who are more analogous to painters whose works are classified as folk art. While I suppose a few people might There are different strains of writing within what might be called "lesbian literature." We have writers producing works that range all the way from extremely professional to unpolished or under-edited or clumsily executed. At the less-slick end of the lesbian fiction continuum I make a distinction between those authors who just don't seem to know how to write a gripping story and those who are more analogous to painters whose works are classified as folk art. While I suppose a few people might accuse Grandma Moses of not knowing how to paint, most would judge her work against that of others artists working in similar styles. And the more familiar I've become with work these "folks art" writers, the more I've come to appreciate their contribution to our community's literature. All this is offered as a preface to my review of Diana K. Perkin's first published novel, "Singing Her Alive." I bought the book because it is both a historical and a romantic lesbian novel that is set in a geographic area not far from where I grew up and now live. I didn't have very high expectations for the book. If you asked me why, I'd have to admit that I'm usually less impressed by novels that have words like "singing" in the title. Is this a bald-faced prejudice? Yes, but in this case, I need not have been afraid. Perkins has a good reason to have titled her novel as she did. The title makes reference to a key bit of imagery that is used to express the depth of love and commitment between the book's pair of long-ago lesbian lovers. Like many "story within a story" books, the historical story very much overshadows the less intriguing "current" era romance. The modern women seem to get together without all that much passion -- their story seems flat and lifeless when compared to the turn-of-the-last century story. I have one nit to pick with the author. The grandmother's story takes place at the beginning of the 20th century. The modern-day part of the book could not be occurring now, in 2011. If so, the protagonist's mother would have had to be over a 100 years old. And yet the author never notes the time frame for the contemporary portion of the book. This is not a trivial matter since the "contemporary" protagonists' courting would not have been carried out in as cavalier a fashion back in, say, the 50s. So the timeline utterly befuddled me. However, this is a book that, for the most part, grabbed me and held my interest. The author made me care about the characters, and she handled some delicate family issues with sensitivity. I didn't learn as much as I'd hoped to about the women working in the mills in the early 1900s. It's an interesting time and setting, but the book doesn't really provide a very high level of detail about that lifestyle. I think I may have learned more from 2nd-hand stories about people who worked in the mills in the area in which I live. Still, the book was a noble endeavor, fairly well executed, and both written and edited with care and commitment. I would recommend this book to those interested women's romantic relationships in a historical setting. I have one other tiny complaint about the ebook format. It's available in .PDF format. This is easy for the publisher to produce, but the more standard EPUB format lends itself better to changes in type size and font, which is an important issue for some of us who choose ebooks to deal with our visual limitations.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Ron Fritsch

    Singing Her Alive is the first novel Diana K. Perkins has published. As I write this review, her book has already won seven awards, most of them for LGBTQ fiction. Perkins well deserves all of them. This is a three-generation story filled with the richly detailed lives of people I’d like to know. Sarah, who is in her early thirties and single and has a good job in Boston, returns to her home village in the Willimantic River valley in Connecticut for the funeral of her grandmother, Rebecca. This p Singing Her Alive is the first novel Diana K. Perkins has published. As I write this review, her book has already won seven awards, most of them for LGBTQ fiction. Perkins well deserves all of them. This is a three-generation story filled with the richly detailed lives of people I’d like to know. Sarah, who is in her early thirties and single and has a good job in Boston, returns to her home village in the Willimantic River valley in Connecticut for the funeral of her grandmother, Rebecca. This part of the story is set in the Sixties. Sarah helps her mother, Beatrice, clean out the house Rebecca, Beatrice’s father Peter, and a “housekeeper” known as “Aunt Doris” lived in. She finds journals Doris and Rebecca kept from the time they met in 1898 in Willimantic, then a thriving mill town. They were roommates in a strictly ruled house for young women working in a mill. Young farm or small-town women such as Doris and Rebecca sought a mill job because it paid them much more than they could earn for any other work they might do—and gave some of them a desirable independence from men. As she reads the journals, Sarah comes upon one surprise after the other in the story of her grandparents, Doris, and Peter’s friend William, who owned a nearby farm—and their descendants, Beatrice, Sarah, William’s son Michael, and Michael’s son Harry. This is also the story of the attempt of the four older people to combat the intolerance of their time with a bold and breathtaking subterfuge. Even as that story proceeds, Sarah begins a close friendship with Alice, the attractive mechanic who comes out to fix the flat tire Sarah endures at the end of her trip home for her grandmother’s funeral. Having decided to buy from her mother the house Doris, Rebecca, and Peter lived in, Sarah ultimately realizes she has to choose between Alice and Harry. I couldn’t wait to find out what happened next in this novel. And yet the gravity of it appealed to me even more. Many of our ancestors must’ve led versions of the lives Doris, Rebecca, Peter, and William chose to lead in 1898. Some of them—most of them, I’d hope—might’ve gotten away with it. Singing Her Alive is their story.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Helen

    Easy read and enjoyable. Not very believable in spots, however. I first got interested in reading this book as it is set not too far from where I grew up, however the references to the area are vague and disappointing.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Nightwing

  6. 5 out of 5

    Virginia

  7. 5 out of 5

    diane stefon

  8. 5 out of 5

    Elizabeth

  9. 4 out of 5

    Debbie

  10. 5 out of 5

    Tammy A

  11. 4 out of 5

    Melanie Carrier

  12. 4 out of 5

    Elizabeth Ostwald

  13. 5 out of 5

    Jules

  14. 4 out of 5

    Ruth Tefft

  15. 5 out of 5

    Jill

  16. 4 out of 5

    Lee McLean-Houle

  17. 5 out of 5

    Sara

  18. 5 out of 5

    Diana K. Perkins

  19. 4 out of 5

    Shantria

  20. 5 out of 5

    Tracy

  21. 4 out of 5

    Diana

  22. 5 out of 5

    Patricia Wolfe

  23. 4 out of 5

    Yesenia

  24. 5 out of 5

    Zack Holder

  25. 5 out of 5

    Graduate Teaching Fellows Federation

  26. 4 out of 5

    Ash

  27. 5 out of 5

    peach

  28. 5 out of 5

    Christopher Obert

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