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Boundaries: A Lesbian Romance

Narrated by: Jan Cramer
Length: 5 hrs and 59 mins
Categories: Fiction, Gay & Lesbian
4.5 out of 5 stars (87 ratings)
This title is included in Audible Escape

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This Story Is Seductive

Publisher's Summary

Northern England 1979 - Social worker Elizabeth has finally plucked up the courage to end 14 years of unhappy marriage. Lost and lonely, she buries herself in work to keep her emptiness at bay. Then an unexpected phone call brings troubled teenager Jan to her door and Elizabeth shocks her friends and family by taking the traumatized young woman into her home as a lodger.

For Jan, Elizabeth is always bound to be more than just a landlady. Gentle, reserved, and quietly attractive, she has all the qualities guaranteed to make Jan love her. But Jan is still struggling to make sense of her devastating affair with a very different older woman. And in a world where love between women is still taboo, the frightened young lesbian does all she can to keep her feelings hidden. As the friendship between the two women deepens, long buried secrets are exposed and family tensions begin to escalate. As both women are forced to confront their demons, they make choices that will change their lives and the lives of the people around them forever.

Dealing with issues of love, betrayal, and abuse, and packed with memorable characters and wry humour, Boundaries immediately shot into the best-selling ranks for lesbian romance and lesbian fiction at the UK's independent book stores when it was first released in 1994. The book's popularity has continued on Amazon, where it was re-released in 2013.

©2014 Jane Retzig (P)2016 Jane Retzig

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

beautiful

I go through audio books like a bag of jellybeans. One right after the other. 90% of them in the lesbian fiction genres. This book was so moving I forgot it was fiction for a second. I am not a literary critic by any means and I very rarely write reviews but this story was too good for me not to say so. If you are a fan of lesbian fiction and like a good romance I can not recommend this book more. The performance was wonderful. Thank you for giving the lesbian fiction genres this gem!

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Enjoyable romance from Across the Pond.

Would you consider the audio edition of Boundaries: A Lesbian Romance to be better than the print version?

Did not read the print version.

What does Jan Cramer bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

It took awhile for these American ears to get used to the British accent, but after just a few minutes of listening, everything was fine. There were a couple short sections where the sound levels changed, but not a big problem.

Any additional comments?

I just wish the story had continued a bit longer, to share the experience of Elizabeth and Jan finally getting together, since we had shared all their other, more challenging experiences that had kept them apart.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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Love is Always Love; Sometimes Sex Isn't Sex

Tough listen. All of the main care/love-interests have been through something or many somethings that cause them to reduce themselves to less than they deserve, because guilt, self-doubt,and other more reduced frames of mind, result in "settling". Half of the picture painted is of women who have a very bad experience with sex - sex that isn't just sex, and sex that has nothing to do with love.

I'm not sure how I feel about young versus older in a relationship. For myself, I *think* balancing history and/or experiencing it with age *night* be important. To skew that a bit, I love classic rock, particularly when it's orchestral rock (ELO, Moody Blues...) My age belies my love for this style, though, because I was barely born when most of it was produced. At the same time, i, literally love dance, house, and hip hop (trance puts me to sleep). I see beauty in some young woman, but they don't understand my musical or political references. I guess some people are older than their years, so to be negative to someone for their youth seems like reversed agism, which is small-minded regardless of the direction.

Sometimes sex isn't sex. It's debasing another, because of something broken and wrong in the perpetrator. Children and young people are taught by experience the relationship -- no pun intended --- or rather the proportional / parallel comparison between sex and self-loathing or sex and self-worth.

Thankfully, despite the abuse of sex, love is always love.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Beautiful

Yes, there are some tough themes here. Incest, child rape and abuse...even though these themes are explicit they are handled realistically if not entirely appropriately. it's obviously not for everyone. But...if you can handle these things are always there in the background and sometimes in the foreground, this is a beautiful story with a rich (flawed) characters. The plot is "the formula" romance with the depth that all romance novels should have, even if they don't have the difficult themes. What I mean by the formula having depth is that all the reasons for the angst in this novel are understandable. The groundwork is laid for the reader. We can believe that these characters would feel and act the way that they do under the circumstances. Too many formulaic romances do not have the depth or foundation for a story that makes the reader feel for the characters. They only make the reader angry at the author. The author should not be on the mind of the reader as they're reading. Anyway...I'm glad this was self-published. While there was "fat" that could have been trimmed by a publisher's editor, what was left in because the author had the freedom to leave it was well worth it.

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Aweful

I did not like the characters, especially Elizabeth. She seemed not to have learned the word NO. And
by his beside give me a break. Did not like at all.

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A wonderful sweet story

Oh my, I usually write reviews only on Goodreads but this one was so special I want to say something here too. If you're born in the eighty's, read it. If you're queer or have felt anything similar in your whole life, read it. If not, read it all the same, it's sweet, moving, deep and well written even if it's so short.. Spectacular really, I just fon't want to give anything more away.

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  • CJ
  • 03-06-17

Cheapish atmosphere

This book wasn’t for you, but who do you think might enjoy it more?

Not for me to say

Would you ever listen to anything by Jane Retzig again?

probably not

Who would you have cast as narrator instead of Jan Cramer?

Abby Craden, is there anyone else

If you could play editor, what scene or scenes would you have cut from Boundaries: A Lesbian Romance?

I couldn't even get into it far enough to comments here.

Any additional comments?

Not really, it just wasn't MY style.

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  • Kris
  • Lexington SC
  • 02-13-17

Not your bad

This book was not to bad. the story was frustrating. and some what hard to keep up with. the ending.. well I felt it should have been longer to finally express the characters true involvement. The time laps was a bit sudden and confusing. However try it out for your self. you I got think differently.

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  • Hildur
  • 07-27-16

A very unusual love story.

I've never read a love story like this. It's about a relationship between an older woman and a much younger one. The story is firmly grounded in reality and feels very real. It's in first person and the viewpoint switches between the two women easily.
It's nice, romantic, well-written, and well-narrated. It‘s an all around good read.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • J C
  • 03-29-18

Multi-layered brilliance

Would you listen to Boundaries: A Lesbian Romance again? Why?

Definitely! On the surface this is an easy book to read. It's easy to read quickly because it is so engaging and well-written. But to do so misses a lot of the subtleties and subtext that contribute this to being such a good book. I'm all for a May/December romance and from the outset yes this is a lesbian romance and yes some aspects are unusual and at times disconcerting. But the author trickles background information to the characters throughout the book, keeping salient factors back which explain so much. I also loved the setting, timewise and location, ah! for nostalgia!, and this was enhanced by the narration and Jan Cramer's accents.

What does Jan Cramer bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you had only read the book?

Jan Cramer's narration simply brings the characters to life and enhances the subtleties of the narrative. I will definitely look out for her other narrations in this genre.

Did you have an emotional reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

Oh certainly a fair amount of angst, uncertainty, and laughing out loud at others. Reflective too of how a happy childhood is sadly not a given for everyone, but how some can turn adversary on its head and achieve in spite of it. It's a very well constructed read that manages to do all that and yet sustains interest until the end.

Any additional comments?

If you want a quick lighthearted read this book may do that for you. But it's also a much more layered read and it's real. Love is love at the end of the day and very few relationships are actually "conventional" supposedly stereotypical.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Dave
  • 05-23-16

Great

Love shouldn't have any boundaries and age is just a number, good ending. Well written and well narrated. Humorous in parts, sad in others.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • XKK
  • 04-17-16

Enjoyable Lesbian Romance

I loved this audiobook. It's sweet, very moving and beautifully narrated by Jan Cramer.

Jane Retzig's writing is understated and the story has some very dark and possibly controversial themes. The book however is very cleverly written.

The book is mainly set in industrial West Yorkshire in 1979/80, and the author often uses literary, musical and political references as a kind of descriptive shorthand to evoke the period and place. This worked perfectly for me, though I wonder if some of this could be lost on younger listeners.

The central characters are all sympathetic (even Sharon, who does her best not to be) and some parts of the book are very funny.

I thoroughly enjoyed it and I love all the works of this talented author.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • C.J.
  • 04-13-16

A Gripping Read!

What did you like most about Boundaries: A Lesbian Romance?

The story starts in 1979 and the following period is captured wonderfully. If you lived through it it will ring true and if you didn't it will give you a glimpse into the very different atmosphere of our recent history. The storyline is gripping. It has plenty of tension and some challenging dilemmas, but also a sense of hope for the future.

Who was your favorite character and why?

I can't decide between Jan and Elizabeth. The story is told from alternate points of view and this is really effective. Their thought processes are utterly believable, even when you're frustrated with their actions at times.

Have you listened to any of Jan Cramer’s other performances? How does this one compare?

I haven't listened to this narrator before, but I'll pay her the highest compliment I can. I forgot it was a narration and listened to the characters in my head.

Did you have an emotional reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

Yes, it has the emotional range of real life. At different times I felt tense, sad, frustrated, amused and happy, but mostly I shared the longing of Jan and Elizabeth.

Any additional comments?

I received a gift copy from the author with no strings attached. What a treat!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Jd
  • 03-17-19

Whatever you do today, make time ...

..... to read this.

If life has dealt you some pretty difficult choices, this read offers hope. Yes, it’s fiction I know. But life without hope is bleak.

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    2 out of 5 stars
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  • Frankimunk
  • 04-14-16

The ending is left far too late to be satisfying.

Story: Began well then became repetetive, unrelateable, tedious and ridiculous. Very disappointing, expected better from Retzig after previous novels such as the Photograph being superb, worthy of 5stars. A better narrator might imrprove this story. Her last two have both been a disappointment.

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  • a white
  • 10-29-17

Just awful

I really full story, with no characters. Really not worth listening to. Narration was tragic. Could not finish.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful