The title: „Love In Time Of Corona”, reminded me of another book on love in times of a pandemic: „Love In Time Of Cholera” by Gabriel Garcia Marquez. The plot is really different, but I find it a great title, meaning that even during times of insecurity, loneliness and disease, love will always shine a bright light in people’s lives.
I liked the themes touched in this book: Covid-19, Black Lives Matter, depression, fear for the loved ones, lesbians over fifty.
„Love In Time Of Corona” by Elena Graf is the third book in the Hobbs series.
#1 – „High October” featuring the amazing doctor Liz Stolz and the beautiful actress Maggie Fitzgerald.
#2 – „This Is My Body” featuring the wonderful and always smiling reverend Lucille Bartlett and the smart philosophy professor Erika Bultmann
The Hobbs series describes the life of a community of lesbian women in their fifties or sixties living at their best in the town of Hobbs, Maine.
„Love In Time Of Corona” is set during the Coronavirus pandemic, as the title suggests, when people are facing all kind of unknown fears and depression, because they are in lockdown, they can’t see their families living in other states and they get lonely and sick of Zoom meetings, but somehow love always finds a way to make their lives better.
Liz Stolz has been following this virus from China for some time, and she seems the only one in the state to take it serious. Being involved in so many activities in Hobbs, as in the Chamber of Commerce and the Rotary, and of course, in her Hobbs Family practice, she doesn’t give her enough time to study it more, but she takes all the safety measures as she can : making medical supplies (masks, gloves, a.s.o.). And she takes care of everyone in town, which makes her the town hero and certainly the central character of the Hobbs series. The only one she neglects is Maggie.
Mother Lucy has also much work on her hands, as her counseling skills are really used during this pandemic, because many people have depressions or they are feeling lonely, being apart from their families, the rate of suicides has also grown and so did the use of drugs.
Even though, there are hard times described in the plot, it doesn’t get dull or boring, because the little Hobbs community is getting people closer to one another, even by seeing each other only in Zoom sessions. I really liked this aspect of the book: people helping each other more during hard times like a pandemic.
I loved the warmth and the kindness and all the other feelings expressed by the characters in this part of the book.
Also, the friendships grow fonder during these times.
Two new main characters are introduced: Police Chief Brenda Harrison and medical assistant Cherie Bois. This is an opposites attract lesbian romance. Brenda and Cherie couldn’t be more different.
Brenda Harrison is blue all over, that means that she wanted to be a cop since forever. Her father was a policeman and her brothers are law-enforcement members, also.
She was a New York policewoman at the begining, but then she moved to Hobbs, Maine, because she loved it in a smaller town and incidents were also rare here. She has a close relationship with Liz Stolz and Mother Lucy, bound by their eternal work to help the others.
Since Cherie became Liz’s medical assistant, Brenda felt an attraction towards her.
The problem was that the woman seems to dislike her completly. She receives only frowns or ugly looks from Cherie and Brenda can’t understand why.
Cherie Bois is new to Hobbs, she came here because her father was born in Maine and wanted to die here. She is taking care of him, because of his medical condition. They are really nice people. Cherie is a psychiatric social worker turned into a medical assistant.
Cherie has a secret : she is white but she identifies as black, because of her family history.
She has a primal fear of cops, because her sister, who was black, was shot by a policeman in front of her. Her sister was innocent of course.
This is the reason she can’t even look at Brenda, even though she is attracted to her.
There is a contrast even in the looks of Brenda and Cherie.
Cherie is a beautiful blonde femme with big blue eyes envied even my the beautiful Mother Lucy, while Brenda is a tall soft butch with attitude and great manners.
Cherie seeks counseling from Mother Lucy, who, as unconventional as ever, gives her the best and daring advices to start her relationship and overcome her fears. Liz also helps Cherie to get over her fear of guns.
It helps and Cherie’s and Brenda’s relationship gets over the awkward start and blooms.
I really liked how Liz and Maggie and Lucy and Erika include Brenda and Cherie in their little circle of friends and the „gang” grows and all the atmosphere is amazing.
Reality would be the word which could describe how Elena Graf wrote this book.
I enjoyed how the situations of the Covid-19 pandemic and the Black Live Matters occurings entwined and put the chatacters through many difficult situations causing them stress, grief, loneliness, depression and then, how their friendship, love, kindness and tenderness make the first ones go away.
The plot is well paced and has some turning points that the reader couldn’t guess.
Elena Graf did a wonderful job. I find it difficult to write a series, involving so many characters and so many situations like the ones described in the Hobbs series. It is hard in each book to find upredictable situations and make these one of a kind characters remarkable ones. I am absolutely mesmerized and absorbed into their stories.
I recommend this book and more, I recommend this whole Hobbs series to everyone who wants to read something unique in lesbian fiction.
Excerpt from the book :