loving her

Loving Her Book Review


Book Title: Loving Her
Book Author: Ann Allen Shockley
Publisher:Northeastern University Press
Pub Date: Oct 1994
Paperback: 187 pages
ISBN: 1555533299

Book Image taken from Sistahs On the Shelf


At the ripe age of 30-something I read Animal Farm. I was disappointed in every close bibliophile friend I’ve ever had for not telling me about the book sooner in life. I kind of feel the same way about Loving Her after finding out that it’s the first blatantly lesbian-themed book written by a Black woman. How did I know about The Well of Loneliness in high school and not this book? Where have I been? Who has been dictating my book selection? The questions persist…briefly, the answers are the American heteronormative academic canon, the Eurocentric queer theory canon along with my preference for non-fiction over fiction.

Loving Her is a very well-written story about two women in love – one Black and the other White. Well-written means the pace kept me engaged by speeding up only when necessary to move the story along and it was easy to temporarily suspend my disbelief long enough to care about the characters. The drama is introduced from the beginning. The Black woman is married to an abusive man with whom she has a daughter. She flees to the home of a wealthy White woman she’s recently become involved with and another type of drama emerges as the two women start their relationship in the highly racialized climate of the 1960’s. This story is well layered with many subtopics to consider when two very different lives join together.

I’m not into giving spoilers; that said, go read the book but skip the introduction since it’s full of spoilers. If you’re the type of reader who gets so engaged in a book you talk to the characters like they can hear you, there are a number of moments in this story just for you.

~Felene Cayetano