Once by Fingersmith (aka Linda Smith)

For some, the end is a new beginning. But when you walk in on your girlfriend doing “it” with another woman on your bedroom floor, a new beginning can be really far away! For Beth it’s shattering to realise that “I love you forever” was really just a promise of a three year long partnership ending in a “floor show”.

With her girlfriend gone, Beth is back to being just herself and her boy, Dudley. Life is going downhill and she is really not at all in the mood to interact with other “humans”, let alone meet new people. But with a bit of assistance from Dudley, Beth meets Amy at the park and they get rather intimate – on the floor the local café. Don’t worry it might be embarrassing, but it’s not anything like the “floor show” that Sue put on. This is the beginning of a rapidly developing attraction and a slowly progressing friendship between Beth and Amy. And it’s the first of a number of times that Beth and Amy land in a heap on the floor together… really there is no “funny” stuff involved!

But this Sue must really have been a right ass, as Beth seems to be of the conviction that no one, and certainly not the attractive Amy, would consider her for more than a friend. Yes – here we go – the scene has been set for a lot of misunderstandings, a couple of bleeding hearts, and some much needed growing to love yourself again.

I’m a sucker for these lengthy and slowly developing romances where you might just wonder at times if the ladies will find the way into each others arms. Yeah well – I know a romance always has a happy ending, but don’t you sometimes wonder if this one is just the one exception to the rule? Perhaps not, but that doesn’t matter as long as the emotional ups and downs are believable.

I like the fact that this story is penned by an English writer, it gives the story just a slightly different and fresh touch. Furthermore there are a good amount of funny episodes included, and Dudley seems to be a real darling… dog.

Fingersmith has penned a number of stories which are available on The Athenaeum (www.xenafiction.net). This one is my favourite, but you might find some of the other stories worthwhile. I might warn you, though, of a little quirk in the writing. Fingersmith likes to put in little comments on the progressing of the story, like “Where do I go from here? Should I move on and race ahead? Or should I drag it out?”



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