Day 18 of #PrideLibrary20.
Music From Another World by Robin Talley
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It’s summer 1977 and closeted lesbian Tammy Larson can’t be herself anywhere. Not at her strict Christian high school, not at her conservative Orange County church and certainly not at home, where her ultrareligious aunt relentlessly organizes antigay political campaigns. Tammy’s only outlet is writing secret letters in her diary to gay civil rights activist Harvey Milk…until she’s matched with a real-life pen pal who changes everything.
Sharon Hawkins bonds with Tammy over punk music and carefully shared secrets, and soon their letters become the one place she can be honest. The rest of her life in San Francisco is full of lies. The kind she tells for others—like helping her gay brother hide the truth from their mom—and the kind she tells herself. But as antigay fervor in America reaches a frightening new pitch, Sharon and Tammy must rely on their long-distance friendship to discover their deeply personal truths, what they’ll stand for…and who they’ll rise against.
A master of award-winning queer historical fiction, New York Times bestselling author Robin Talley once again brings to life with heart and vivid detail an emotionally captivating story about the lives of two teen girls living in an age when just being yourself was an incredible act of bravery.
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Music From Another World is written in the form of hesitant letters and confessional diary entries and I loved every page! Mention good old snail mail and I am there, I adore writing and receiving letters so a book featuring letters heavily is something I will always love reading. Closeted lesbian Tammy is paired up with Sharon in a pen pal scheme between two Christian schools, what begins as a forced school assignment turns into a lifeline for both girls to share their true selves with each other without fear of judgment or retribution. Thi was such a beautiful story about two queer girls finding their space in the world where they could love whoever they wanted to.
Robin Talley has created two strong, individual main characters with a passion for life and equality, I really enjoyed learning about a small part of LGBTQ+ history in America alongside Tammy and Sharon as they played their parts in the protests and campaigns. The foundation of the love story in this novel starts off as a tentative friendship between pen pals, there’s disagreements, misunderstandings, heartbreak and heart warming scenes, all adding up to create a wonderful romance between two queer girls. Tammy is a closeted lesbian due to living with a very religious and homophobic family whereas Sharon’s sexual identity is a lot more of a journey throughout the book as she questions her feelings for both boys and eventually, Tammy. To balance out the homophobic characters there’s also a whole load of supportive queer side characters who help organise protests to campaign for LGBTQ people’s rights.
Queer historical fiction is definitely a new type of novel for me, but they blend two of my favourite things together, queer characters and historical events. I find history fascinating and I’ll never know enough to sate my hunger for knowledge. I haven’t read anything by Robin Talley prior to reading Music From Another World so to see the author described as a master of award winning queer historical fiction makes me desperate to read every other book this author has written! Music From Another World blew me away, I switched between the audio and the eBook and the dual narratives told by two narrators over audio was amazing, it clearly defined the two main characters. I would hugely recommend this book to anyone who wants to read more queer fiction as it is brilliant!
The audiobook of Music From Another World is available to listen to on Scribd. You can use my referral link to receive 60 days of free access to Scribd! You can cancel at any time even before the first payment is due and just enjoy the 60 free days. Read for free on Scribd!
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