Saturday, 20 May 2017

Accommodation Offered by Anna Livia

Accommodation Offered by Anna Livia
First published in the UK by The Women's Press in March 1985.

I registered my copy of this book at BookCrossing

Where to buy this book:
Buy from independent booksellers via Abebooks
Buy from independent booksellers via Alibris
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How I got this book:
Bought at a Torquay charity shop

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

When her lover leaves her, Polly, with some trepidation, advertises two vacant rooms in her house. The two women who move in seem sympathetic: bus conductor Kim, and awkward, gangling Sadie, a wanderer haunted by memories of her African childhood. But in spite of their shared experience as lesbians, differences begin to emerge. Fortunately the household is watched over by the Liberty Boddesses of Hortus, prepared to risk divine censure if they can help straighten things out.

I loved the humour in this Irish story of friendship set in 1980s London. The Liberty Boddesses are great fun and their scenes are reminiscent of the way ancient Greek gods and goddesses would influence the lives of mortals on earth. The central story is that of Polly, Kim and Sadie who find themselves sharing a house. That the trio are lesbians is an important aspect of the book, but I liked that Livia doesn't only define their lives by their sexuality. Instead Accommodation Offered explores themes of race, gender and mental health. It is a multi-layered novel which can just be read lightly as a humorous story of friendship, albeit one with dark edges. Or it can be more deeply thought-provoking asking questions about the assumption of a white-male-dominated society. Livia writes vibrantly of ordinary 1980s London describing squats and condemned houses, buses that still had conductors and streets that were still communities. Most of all though, this is a novel of women coming to terms with their present situations and their pasts, and discovering how not to lose all hope.

Search Lit Flits for more:
Books by Anna Livia / Women's fiction / Books from Ireland

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