Cover image for Side by side
Side by side
Miller, Isabel, 1924-1996.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
Tallahassee, FL : Naiad Press, 1990.
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
FICTION Adult Fiction Central Closed Stacks

On Order



By the author of Patience and Sarah...a long-awaited novel. Lesbian lovers in New York City during the time of Stonewall.

Reviews 2

Booklist Review

Side by Side is the story of Patricia and Sharon, whom we meet as children and each of whom tells her story in alternate but sequential chapters, a technique Miller used to great effect in her historical (and historic) first novel, one of the classics of lesbian-themed fiction, Patience and Sarah (1972). The girls become lovers in adolescence, are separated by their parents, and mature along different paths against the backdrop of the rising liberation movements and Vietnam protests of the 1960s and later. Their reunion and growth as a couple mirrors the growth of the gay and lesbian movement from activism to community. Miller is a fine writer, well able to keep her two narrators distinct from each other. She also vividly captures what it was like to be a child in the cold war 1950s, when you were looked down on if your family did not have a well-stocked bomb shelter. A good story of very recent history that should appeal to adults both quite young and considerably older. ~--Marie Kuda

Publisher's Weekly Review

Readers looking for a sympathetic discussion of lesbian issues, such as the nature of butch/femme relationships or whether lesbians should support gay political activism, may appreciate Miller's ( Patience and Sarah ) tale of women who overcome their fathers' hostility to make a life together; but the novel suffers from a lack of polish, and the narrow perspective will diminish its mainstream appeal. Patricia Burley and Sharon Almo have been best friends since they were in diapers in the late 1940s, but when their friendship develops sexual overtones, their fathers take steps to separate and ``cure'' them: Patricia is hustled into therapy and Sharon is shipped off to her grandmother's farm in the Catskills. The well-laid plans of the sexual arch-conservatives go astray, however, as Patricia heads off for college and a brief affair with a bisexual female instructor, while Sharon finds an ally in her delightfully eccentric grandmother, a self-styled witch who does psychic readings and sells lawn ornaments. Years later, in 1969, Patricia traces Sharon to New York City, and they recover the closeness of their childhood relationship while gaining the support and friendship of other lesbians. (Feb.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved