Author Georgia Beers makes some fresh tracks herself with this novel, demonstrating real growth in skill and technique. This is a wonderful book, very enjoyable, and a delightful change from the usual construction of a romance novel, in which one woman meets another woman, a growing attraction must overcome or set aside obstacles or differences, etc. Fresh Tracks gives the reader more than just one couple's interest in each other to ponder. It looks at seven women, some already in long-term relationships, some having recently lost their partners, and even one woman who has not yet figured out the value of sustaining a relationship through trouble and good times. For this group, New Year's resolutions take on more importance.
This is author Georgia Beers' fourth novel, and it shows growth in both style and technique, as well as offering the reader something new in romance.
Friends of Amy and Jo gather in a cabin in the woods for a week's vacation. If you're a fan of lesbian romance novels, then this might recall for you the classic that revived this genre, Curious Wine. Whether it was intended or not, Fresh Tracks pays tribute to 1983's Curious Wine, with this contrast: the women in Curious Wine were straight, except Lane. The women in Fresh Tracks are all lesbians, each and every one.
Jo and Amy are the hosts, and have a solid relationship. Molly and Kristin are a couple whose relationship is on the verge of failing. Laura and Sophie are both recovering from broken relationships; Darby is single and young and the spark that almost causes a meltdown of the whole week of togetherness.
It may be unfair to draw a comparison between these two novels, but the parallels are there, and it won't hurt either novel. Katherine V. Forrest's groundbreaking novel is considered the standard, a novel that began the whole industry of lesbian romance, remarkable for its bold eroticism and its romantic setting.
Fresh Tracks has the romantic setting, and Beers has decided on a style and construction that is very enticing for the reader, each chapter from a different character's point of view, and each section of the novel marked by the next day of the week between Christmas and New Year's.
This a lovely book, set in a cabin in the woods, a snowy holiday retreat, each character in turn making amends and resolutions and new starts.