I know I have said it before, but one of the details that make me choose a book to read is it’s title.
The title of K.C. McGregor’s “The touch of a woman” suggests one of the main characters has never been with a woman before, meaning she is totally straight.
Another good reason for it to be a great read is the fact that both women are at the crossroads of their lives at second ages, which suggests both of them have some life experience and a hell of a lot of emotional baggage and they bring their own baggage in their relationship, even though involuntarily.
decides to be going with her maiden name now, simply Ellis Keene, you will see why in the book, and I won’t disclose it because it’s a very important twist in the plot. We get to know Ellis Keene moving into an apartment in Sacramento from the big city of San Francisco, because she needs to start her life over again, as she has been widowed due to an office rampage. Her three children support her, especially they know they have financial issues after their father’s sudden death. Ellis is starting a new job as an assistant editor for a magazine and tries to accommodate into the new city.
Right then, she meets Summer, who is going through a drawn-out breakup with her girlfriend, who still has drinking issues and seems to have a habit by bouncing at her door in the most inappropriate of moments.
Also, Ellis has always seen herself straight until this point.
Of course, she misjudges Summer by interpreting the whole scene, although Summer came to apologize for the other woman’s behavior.
Summer Winslow is an open lesbian with a great group of friends that want her to get together with her girlfriend, but Summer cannot handle her drinking habits.
The book has three very interesting matters that need to be underlined : a reason to lie and to kill, a family to recover and each of it’s members trying to get over it alone; a straight , rich woman, struggling with finances know, yet not selling her very expensive SUV, but finds it very hard to live in a small apartment in Sacramento (straight princess type); the drinking habit and it’s consequences on the ones close to the individual that cannot see it as a vice.
As stated above, I think Ellis has many issues and the financial problem is not the main one.
She misjudges Summer when she sees her ex-girlfriend bouncing at her door, yet she finds her the best shoulder to cry on when none of her rich friends has offered any helping hand, a word, nor a call. I know it is really hard for a straight woman to question her sexuality, to understand her attraction to another woman, yet Ellis’s son, Jeremy, is openly gay and has a boyfriend and she stands for him in front of the world and in front of her other son, Jonathan.
She is attracted to Summer and she slowly falls for her, especially when she understands Summer’s freedom, her lack of strings to what other’s think of her, her warmth and her goodness. Their making love surely holds a grip on her, but when her daughter finds out about their relationship and somehow puts Ellis on the same level with her father’s deeds, strikes Ellis and she chooses to put on a hold her relationship with Summer.
That was the saddest part of Ellis. She never assumes, she always runs.
Instead of setting a foot in her relationship with her children and see each of them as they are :
Jonathan lied he is studying at Stanford, yet he was expelled after his father’s deeds, he tries to recover and pay for the college years he has left without Ellis’s help.
Jeremy is openly gay, he has also suffered his father’s loss, yet he seemed to be the one who handles it better. He is trying to help his sister and he has a great support in his boyfriend.
Alison has been hurt the most by her father’s deeds, as she was in her last year of highschool when the whole thing happened. She was set aside by her classmates and everyone else. She had to keep learning and get great grades to be able to get into college. She also wants a car and wants her mother to buy it. She was daddy’s little spoiled girl and when her family is penniless she finds it hard to be. And when she finds out about her mother’s relationship with another woman, she loses it and she emotionally blackmails her mother.
This is Ellis’s second flaw: she doesn’t fight for her love, she lets herself emotionally blackmailed by her daughter.
Also, Ellis has a male admirer, whom she doesn’t dislike, but she doesn’t particularly like either. She knows she isn’t attracted to him, the way she is attracted to Summer.
She makes the difference between the love and the friendship Summer offers and she feels herself drawn to her, yet she still behaves badly and ends her relationship with Summer.
It’s not for Summer to say anything or to run after Ellis and she doesn’t.
I found it sad, that Ellis returned to Summer only after her family issues were resolved : she and her son Jonathan talked more and were sincere with each other and she found a way to talk and reason with her daughter, Alison.
Why Summer was always on second place ?
Why has Ellis only returned to Summer, when her family business was solved, even though Summer accepted her situation, including her husband’s crimes?