By Mary Vasiliades
Available at Amazon Books, Barnes and Noble, most other shops.
“Sappho Rising” is an action love story about Hillary and Iris, lovers who defy the conventions of their world with disastrous consequences for their relationship and their future. Forced to separate by their homophobic parents who intercept them in a motel, they find their isolation intolerable. They need money desperately so that they can runaway together. Iris does something so outrageous to get funds that her criminal actions separates them even more. Hillary moves on to become a fashion photographer and an activist in the lesbian and gay rights movement while Iris becomes a fugitive and lives underground with a new identity.
The novel follows their parallel lives and romantic adventures. Hillary is blamed for everything and is hated by Iris's family, especially by her homophobic brother, Jerry. She holds on to the dream of finding Iris until she meets Virginia, a rich, beautiful lesbian who is in a marriage of convenience.
Meanwhile, Iris’s escape route leads her to a group that befriends her and gives her a new identity and a future. She is a free spirit and romps through life. After a series of jobs she teams up with the gay crowd in the ad agency where she works, spending summers at Fire Island and having casual affairs.
There are many complications that develop including the resurfacing of Iris’s accomplice, a mass demonstration that reopens old wounds for Iris’s brother, who belongs to a secret militia group in New Jersey. His hate for Hillary and all gays and lesbians triggers another desperate plan that puts everyone in danger.
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