And Those Who Trespass Against Us by Helen Macpherson is one of those lesbian romance novels which will entertain your weekend and left you with a good feeling because you’ll have a glimpse of how society has changed in time… or not. Moreover, you will read about how people lived in 1872 in the sometimes hostile but always beautiful Australia.
The main characters are women with self-sureness who had made a decision about the life they want to live, a change from the stereotyped characters of other books. Katherine decided to become a nun after being left in the altar by her boyfriend and suffered her mother recriminations for something that wasn’t her fault. So, when there’s a vacant place for a nun in Australia she didn’t doubt it.
Then there is Catriona, a woman who has suffered because of an impossible love with her governess, who lives with her brother after have lost their parents and manages their land with success, being generous with those who aren’t as fortunate as her. She’s strong, independent and doesn’t yield to what is expected of her as a marriageable woman. That’s why she lives her life without listening to society’s principles and hypocrisy; perfectly represented by the ladies’ committee and Father Cleary.
What made special this book is that I didn’t read its summary so it was a whole surprise for me to discover that Katherine was a nun. It isn’t typical in lesbian novels so it immediately caught my attention because I wanted to read about how a nun reconciles her feelings for another woman. Then it was the well defined characters and, of course, the love story itself.
The “but” for me is the end. I understood Catriona’s reaction when Katherine said she’d leave although I didn’t get how Katherine went to from “We can face everything together” to “If I’m not here will be better for you” and how the fact that Catriona didn’t tell her that she loved her determines everything.
Despite the end of this one I’m looking forward reading more about this author, better if it’s about Adele, a great character whose story should be told.