We are defined by our gender not just in a physical sense, but by the expectations with which we are met coming into this world and by the language used to describe us. This can be a burden, a challenge or just a starting point from where you make your choices in life.
A mailman, a paperboy or a milkman once a line of traits defined by gender, but today perhaps just a figure of speech? Some might challenge the gender bias of language, but mailwoman, papergirl or milkwoman does it ring true? Well way back when as in 1940'ish New Zealand Jean was not only a woman, she was also the one to deliver Alice her milk every morning and with a smile that is and not just for Tilly, Alice's daughter, but perhaps even with a special one for Alice.
While Jean's trait might not be frowned upon in 1946, the rumour of her romantic interest in women was not well looked upon in polite company, and if you take into consideration that Alice is a good looking war widow and the single mother of two fatherless children, you might have guessed that pressure will come to bear on Alice to do right by her children and that is definitely not to get intimately involved with the milkman or rather .....Jean.
It's safe to say that while the romantic interest that Alice harbour for our milkman of choice is well received by the woman doing the milk delivery and that a first kiss is not long in the waiting, Alice and Jean has quite a road to travel if they want to spend life doing more than smiling at each other over a pint of milk. The nice part of the journey is the fact that while "Women loving Women" is generally frowned upon, a number of good people will stand up for Alice and Jean when they really need it the most.
You should know that I was treated to a free copy courtesy of Sapphica Books.