Say The Word by Jeannine Garsee When Shawna was seven her mother left her father for Fran. 10 yrs later Shawna gets a call from Fran, her mother's had a stroke. Though she hasn't seen her mother in years Shawna takes the earliest flight from Cleveland to New York. Shawna mother dies in the hospital and she replays their rocky relationship. Shawna's mother being a lesbian wasn't the reason for the distance it was caused by Shawna's mother caring more about her art then Shawna's health. Though Shawna's parents hated each other, her father takes over because he can. Shawna's father is very domineering, constantly putting her down in front of others and calling her stupid. He refuses to respect the burial wishes of a woman he once loved. Shawna's mother never changed her will, again her father takes advantages. Forcing Fran to sell her New York apartment. Fran and her sons, Arye and Schmule have no other choice but to move to Cleveland to live with a family member. This part of the story is very sad. Garsee shows what can happen when a partner in a Same Sex couple dies and the other partner has no rights. Shawna's relationship with her best friend Lee Lee is one of my favorites. When Lee Lee comes out, Shawna must confront her feelings about gay people. Does she hate gay people because her mother left her behind or did her father's family poison her with all their negative talk. Shawna and Lee Lee's relationship wasn't a quick fix, making the novel that much more believable. One thing I loved about Say The Word is Garsee never forgets the story. Sometimes authors will include issues or causes in their books but they'll overlook little things like a story line or a plot and the book becomes hard to read. Say The Word is so far from that, Garsee has written a great novel and given Shawna a wonderful voice.
The author was kind enough to share from Say The Word on her site. Its a great scene and once you read it you'll want the book even more. An excerpt