Beers, Georgia. Olive Oil and White Bread. Bywater Books. 2014. $14.95. 240p. SC 9781612940496.
Most romance stories begin with characters who meet, then fall in love, and the story ends with the characters living happily ever after. For Angie and Jillian, however, their happily-ever-after begins this novel, and the novel follows them throughout many years of their lives as they change jobs, fight, make up, move to new places, and face the mundane challenges of life. Angie’s Italian-American family is happy to embrace her and her partner, but Jillian’s family would prefer to keep her closeted. The differences in their backgrounds and family values become obvious as they live each day together throughout their lives.
Fans of romance novels will enjoy this unique twist on a typical love story. Rather than watching the characters fall in love, readers get to watch the characters stay in love through all the typical ups and downs of life. The focus in this novel is on the characters themselves, so there is not much plot to be found. Readers who enjoy an obvious problem –resolution pattern to a novel will find themselves frustrated, but those who appreciate a character sketch will enjoy getting to know Angie and Jillian and their individual quirks, struggles, and triumphs. The novel’s slow, measured pace and focus on characters will make it a hit with readers who enjoy cozy stories they can pick up as they have time to read. Recommended for public library romance collections and LGBT special collections for its unique twist on the typical romance story.