Book Review: Lesbian For A Year

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Author: Brooke Hemphill
ISBN: 978-1-922213-28-0
RRP: $29.99

Lesbian For A Year sparked controversy when it was released a little while back and judging the book by its cover, and its title, that was to be expected. The sexuality debate rages on as the fight for same-sex marriage reform continues and it’s no real surprise that people took exception to this book – many of them without even reading it.

The premise interested me but I was a little concerned about how it would all come together. I was hoping it would be more focused on the relationships than the intimacy and I was not disappointed. I have known a lot of people over the years who have flipped their dating choices and I must confess I have always been extremely curious as to how that comes about.

Yes, I know many women who have sworn off men and declared they were ‘changing sides’ because they were suffering an extreme run of bad luck. I was one of those women. ‘That’s it I’m done, it’s women or the convent for me and on second thought I don’t think I could live with the vow of silence so I guess it’s women.’ but I think, for me anyway, it was always a spur of the moment blowing off steam throwaway comment. I have always been curious though as to how it comes about.

Brooke Hemphill writes fluently in an easy-to-read, conversational manner that helped the book to flow. She is a media personality who has worked in many areas, as a writer and producer, and on many aspects of sex, dating and relationships.

She doesn’t profess to have all the answers, this is her life and her experience. What led her to date women and what brought her back to men.

lesbian for a year

There is some nudity, there are some R rated scenes, but it is more a study of relationships and each person’s role. It’s about some of the dynamics in the different relationships and there is much talk about the media perceptions of sexuality and the need to make sure everyone has a label.

Hemphill takes us on her relationship journey and offers us ringside seats to her successes, her failures and her excesses; from her early engagement to the resort island and the cruise ship we get an inside look at Brooke’s relationships.

The book opens with an extremely hungover Brooke waking up with a strange woman in her bed. From this point we go back to the beginning of her dating life and move forward to the drunken hookup and beyond in an honest and often superfluously descriptive account of Brooke’s path of self-discovery.

While many have taken offense at Hemphill’s first book I found it to be an interesting look at her life, without trying to project her experiences onto anyone else I know and their sexual orientation. Yes, I believe that many people are born to their sexual orientation, I also believe there are people who choose their orientation through experimentation and that there are people for whom it is all about the specific person they are with regardless of orientation.

Hemphill states from the beginning a desire to work in the creative field, as a 30-something she feels she has something to say about her sexual journey and I say good for her. I didn’t take this as a reflection on anyone else’s choices, this was about her journey and I thank her for showing me one way that the change may come about.

Lesbian For A Year is interesting but not gripping reading, it was well written and showcased Hemphill as a writer with talent so it will be interesting to see what she does next.

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