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by Sam Chekwas

 A bold new novel by a first time novelist released by Seaburn Press of New York has become the talk of this town. In many of our communities across the nation the unacknowledged relationship between two black females will no longer remain a taboo but an issue discussed openly thanks to Gisele Isaac’s new novel: Considering Venus.

      Considering Venus asks, "What happens when girlfriends become more than friends?" 

      This is the story of two forty-something women who meet again 25 years after High School:  Lesley, an African-American, is  straight, recently widowed with three children, and looking for a friend, while Cass is gay and looking for a lover. She finds all that she is looking for in Lesley; but would telling her the truth be a confession of love or a betrayal of their age old friendship?

      The intrigue of a sexual relationship between them becomes the main plot of the novel which is tantalizing and erotic when Cass finally does tell her of her emotions and desires.

      Lesley runs away, a predictable reaction of a woman who has been straight all her life, denying her own feelings and conflicted about the whole idea of women loving women.  She knows that she is not gay and fears being labeled that way. A fear that will overshadow even her true feelings for Lesley and desires to be held, caressed and loved. But would she be gone for long?

      Her return chronicles the many ways in which women form attachments and how friendship and love are interwoven into a unique type of relationship. Lesley learns that labels are simply society's way of expressing its prejudices, and love, ultimately, is what really matters, regardless of its gender.

      On the other hand, Cass experiences the exhilaration that accompanies finding her soulmate, even as she experiences the pain and distance that come with loving a straight woman.

      The novel becomes even more interesting as other family members and their stories are woven into the novel and as each woman becomes a presence in the other's life. Lesley, however, insists on not telling her children about the true nature of the relationship.  The children's discovery of what the women are to each other violently forces the issue to a head, as everyone involved looks at his or her own fears and prejudices and determines where to go from there.

      Considering Venus attempts to shatter stereotypes and portray gays and those who love them as they are: only people.  People whose lives are no different from the mainstream. People who work, pay bills, love their families, and worry about growing old.

      The question that society continues to ask and scientist continue to seek for explanations is can two people of the same sex meet, fall in love and determine to live as happily as they can.

      Read Considering Venus and watch yourself emerge from a closet that you never thought existed...

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