Tough Enough

A reader’s perspective on loving where you live.

 

I wasn’t tough enough. Or maybe I wasn’t lesbian enough. Definitely to Californian. But I couldn’t make it in the Pacific Northwest. I tried. Well if pretending to live there for two months is considered living there. Of course choosing the wet season during a year where they had record breaking amounts of water falling from the sky maybe wasn’t the smartest choice, but I was maybe a week into, “our new place” when I knew I was never going to last. I wish I could have. I mean it’s the freaking PACIFIC NORTHWEST!! It has amazing outdoor activities, culture, cities, country, writers. I mean it just seems to be the lesbian mecca of the entire US! And I couldn’t make it. Hopefully my lesbian card is not suspended or worse- cancelled.

But so many authors make the Pacific Northwest sound so incredibly amazing! Take Kate Christie for example. After reading about the views from Emma Blakeley’s apartment in Game Time: Book Two of Girls of Summer by [Christie, Kate]Game Time: Book Two of Girls of Summer or heck owning her family house from the first story, who wouldn’t want to check out such an awesome city as Seattle. Or maybe you would run into Sam or Emily from Solstice as they play soccer throughout the summer, hang out in lesbian bars and attend gay pride events. Which apparently it does not rain in the summer I just wasn’t tough enough to stick around and find out for sure.

Or how about Lynn Galli and her portrayals of Washington- Seattle specifically! If you haven’t read Clichéd Love: A Satirical Romance by [Galli, Lynn]Clichéd Love yet, besides being off the charts funny it has a wonderfully realistic presentation of the Pacific Northwest. Except Vega seems to be visiting the area during that rare year where the rain is limited. Though the one scene where there is rain makes it actually seem more welcoming than what I experienced….Fun read though and this story along with Wasted Heart definitely makes Seattle appealing. The characters share their experiences of kayaking, biking, riding the super cool sounding ferries, attending Seattle Storm basketball games- I mean what’s not to love!

While I was visiting/attempting to live there, I did take the train down to Portland. That was fun. Still cold and a little rainy, but fun! I mean how can you go wrong in a city when there is a bookstore that claims to be a whole block of books!? And it is! A whole freaking block of a bookstore! Also the city for Lori Lake’sEight Dates: A Romance by [Lake, Lori L.] Eight Dates another great story by an amazing author. Ok, and I would so go on a date to explore waterfalls even if it was way more than I’ve hiked in a year because it sounds gorgeous and totally a place I would take advantage of.

I think one of the things that made the Pacific Northwest so appealing is how much love and detail each of these authors put into the setting, so much so that it made the actual location a part of the story and how it influenced the character’s lives. I could be mistaken, but I think each of these authors resides in the region- meaning maybe they write about where they love. For me, that can be important with a story. Really feeling the location and being true to it. When the details don’t match up it can be distracting sort of like watching a TV series where it’s supposed to take place in one town/city but the behavior of the characters and the places they visit just don’t match. These authors don’t have that problem. There setting adds to the story because it is so accurate and builds so wonderfully the place for the characters to grow and possibly (ok mostly because I like the romance genre!) find love.

This is just one example- the Pacific Northwest. But there are more- I mean can we say New York City! (I don’t think I could ever imagine moving there though!) What locations have you enjoyed reading about in lesfic novels that adds to the story? Have you found an author who brings the same love of her city, state or region into her stories and if so, who? I would love to read more stories though hopefully the whole moving thing is done! I’m just too Californian.

 

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6 thoughts on “Tough Enough

  1. Karis Walsh has some awesome books set in the Pacific Northwest. Since I’m stuck in MN, I love any book that can effectively take me back to New England (and MN is lovely in many ways, but I miss the ocean and the no nonsense straightforwardness of the New England people). I’ve loved traveling in the UK, so I also love the travel memories that come up when reading books set there.

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    1. I’ve really enjoyed Karis Walsh as well. Good call on that one. Have you read The Return by Ana Matics? There was a lobster bake in it and I totally wanted to be there to watch the preparations. She did a great job of presenting that scene and though I’ve not spent a lot of time in Maine, it felt pretty accurate from pictures and stuff. I have yet to travel to the UK but there are some great authors over there presenting some great countryside that is for sure! Thanks for reading!

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  2. LOL. I live in the Pacific NW and believe it or not where I live is considered the high desert. Yes desert in WA state. I can’t imagine living anywhere else but Washington because of the topography it is as diverse as the people who live here. No toughness required!

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    1. Washington kicked my butt! LOL! The high desert of Washington- that would be the Eastern part of the state right? I didn’t have a chance to wander that far when I was up there but I have heard it is very different than the Western part of the state. Have you included that in some of your stories and I’ve missed them????

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  3. Robin Alexander always does the South proud, usually Louisiana. I’d probably never move there, but she makes them seem fun, friendly with an odd assortment of eccentric people. I’ve lived in Bend, OR (Eastern, high desert) and Bellingham, WA (Pacific NW, coastal). Love Lynn Galli ,she also has the settings in Virginia and Aspen, CO.

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    1. I love Robin Alexander’s portrayal of the South! And the family members who populate her books are hysterical! Definitely a perfect example of loving the setting! Thanks for reading!

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