Review of ‘Painted Moon’ by Karin Kallmaker,
Audiobook narrated by Abby Craden
Jackie Frakes is an architectural intern whose life revolves around her boyfriend and her unsatisfying job. When she gets trapped in a mountain storm on her way to visit relatives during Thanksgiving, Jackie is rescued by reclusive artist Leah Beck. As they are forced to share a weekend together in an isolated cabin in the woods, both women will see their lives changed forever…
‘Painted Moon’ is a lesbian classic book first published in 1994 now being re-released in a 25th-anniversary edition which adds two short stories catching up with the characters at present time. I remember reading this book a few years ago and I wasn’t too fussed about it. However, I decided to give it another go as it is now available in audiobook for free with a Scribd subscription and read by Abby Carden, one of my favourite narrators. At 6 hours length, it’s worth a try.
I have to admit that I might have been too harsh in my criticism when I read it before and I think this book has to be judged in the context of the 1990s when it was first published. From my own experience, those were harder times to come out as a lesbian and this book describes that social environment perfectly. Being gay wasn’t easy then, so expect a good deal of drama from this book. Drama isn’t normally my cup of tea but I think that it’s justified in the story and, being a romance, it would have given a hopeful ending for readers in the 1990s.
Abby Craden’s narration is spot-on as ever, though I have to admit that I wasn’t thrilled by Leah’s voice. As usual, the narration pace and her performance of feelings and emotions do justice to this novel. This lesbian classic audiobook is a good way to immerse yourself in the past and be happy for what we’ve got now.
Overall, 4 stars for the book, 4.5 stars for the audiobook. Average 4.5 stars.