Monday, May 28, 2012

Marching to a Different Accordion by Saxon Bennett

Publisher:     Bella Books

Marching to a Different Accordion continues the story of Chase Banter, her partner Gitana, their daughter Bud and their friends who were introduced in the earlier book Family Affair.  For those fans who like Bennett for her quirky characters and funny plots, she doesn't fail to deliver in this book.

Chase, as usual, finds herself at the center of a human tropical storm.  She and Gitana are trying to parent a child who is smarter than both of them.  Bud at four reads philosophical tomes, collects dictionaries and teaches herself foreign languages.  This doesn't seem to faze Gitana, but has Chase in turmoil as she struggles to stay ahead of her daughter.  Chase's career writing heterosexual mystery novels is very successful, but it's drawn the wrath of the Pink Mafia, who accuse her of deserting the lesbian community.  They demand that she write a lesbian novel immediately and Chase is afraid not to do it.  Adding to the distractions is Chase's friend Lacey who has decided to open a lesbian center from which lesbians will launch their bid for world domination.  Chase has to wonder how out of touch she has become with her lesbian world because she didn't know they were trying to achieve domination.  As usual, Chase, who is a control freak, is not in control of her own world, but her family and friends will keep things in some sort of order for her.

Marching to a Different Accordion features two Bennett trademarks – there are numerous funny episodes and the children seem light years ahead of most of the adults in maturity and intelligence.  What is different about this book is the rather serious discussion that goes on about the nature of the lesbian community and whether or not it's losing its culture as it is assimilated into the mainstream.  Bennett doesn't deliver a lecture, but handles this with her typical humor.  Chase becomes quite concerned that she's "losing her lezzie" and the topic keeps coming up, so that the reader eventually has to think about where she stands on the issue.  It provokes a number of questions about what will happen to the homosexual community as its members become more accepted and have less need to hide themselves.  It also reflects the beginning divide between those who will support inclusion and those who advocate separation, an argument that has occurred in other persecuted minorities.  Where Bennett shows her ability and experience is that the two different themes don't conflict with each other and one does not affect the enjoyment of the other.

The reader can enjoy Marching to a Different Accordion just for the humorous situations that occur around Chase.  For the reader who is looking for something with a little more depth to it, that is also here.  Either way the reader will enjoy the experience.

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