Annette Mori was the 2022 Lesfic Bard Award winner in the category Paranormal Fiction for the novel Georgetown Glen: Queermunity Living at Its Finest. The Lesfic Bard Awards were created to celebrate Lesbian literature and award authors for excellence in writing and storytelling. Mori is the author of several lesbian novels that admittedly I haven’t read. It was the word “paranormal” that interested me in this one.
Ghosts, hangings, lost gold, and long buried secrets, I found this novel was entertaining, something to simply enjoy. The characters are likeable, although each of the three couples, two lesbian couples and one ghost couple, have their own conflicts. The six most involved are an older couple, a younger couple and a ghost couple.
We start with Lucy and Bea. Lucy buys an old ghost town. Her idea is to fix it up and make it a lesbian retirement community. She doesn’t mention this to her wife Bea until the deal is done. Bea is older, solid and serious. She is worried about money, of course, and Lucy’s impulsive purchase. This conflict carries through the book although Lucy always has her way. On the advice of friends, they hire Fiona and Saville, contractors who have a not so pleasant history. Saville is the electrician who has commitment issues although she loves Fi, a lesbian who wants a commitment. At one point Lucy sees Saville’s hesitation with Fi, and she introduces her niece Chelsey to Fi to make Saville jealous. Another writer couldn’t get away with this, it doesn’t seem like something, Lucy, a mature person would do, but it is in character for Lucy the woman who started it all by buying a ghost town.
The ghosts aren’t really the scary type. They are sad. George is angry, we learn with good reason. If any harm comes to the live characters, he will do it. There is a hint in the prologue that George is a woman who has lived her life and afterlife as a man. Ruth, his wife, wants to communicate with the lesbians. Journals appear and Lucy reads them and discovers there is a murder mystery that has been hidden for years and she wants it solved. Things at the saloon, the first structure to be remodeled, move around. First the workers find a chest of gold. While I’m wondering if the gold belongs to the new owners as they assume it does, the ghosts hide it.
A good deal of the plot focuses on Saville and Fi and their already messed up attempt of love—a night of unplanned sex. As time passes and while working together, Seville realizes that although her life has been commitment free, she wants Fi and she wants to devote herself to her.
Everything changes when the dognapping takes place. Saville has a neighbor who leaves his dog outside alone and chained up all the time. All of the women decide to take the dog and give it a better home. The actual scene when they go over the fence and take the animal is hilarious and a bit dangerous when the dog owner comes after them. They do succeed in getting the animal and it stays with Fi. From that point on, Fi sees a different side of Saville.
Strange as it may seem, Saville goes to the ghost, George, for advice on how to win the woman she loves, and she gets it. “Don’t waste the time you have on earth.…” However this is followed by a motorcycle accident and more time passes before Saville can take the ghost’s advice.
Georgetown Glen is an easy read. I’d call it escape fiction. Some of the events around the ghosts, the remodeling of the saloon, the characters and how they interact seem a little over the top. I suppose a faster reader could read this in one day, but not me. Each time I returned to the book I was happy to do so.
Georgetown Glen: Queermunity Living Its Finest, by Annette Mori. Affinity Rainbow Publication Services. 2022. 284pp. $16.99.
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