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, the novel begins with their happily-ever-after and 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 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 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 instead of plotting. Readers 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 more leisurely cozy stories.
Olive Oil is recommended for public library romance collections and LGBT special collections for its unique twist on the typical romance story.
Jenni Frencham, Librarian
Cesar Chavez Middle School, Hayward (CA)