Therese is just an ordinary sales assistant working in a New York department store when an alluring woman in her 30s walks up to her counter. Standing there, Therese is wholly unprepared for the first shock of love. She is an awkward 19-year-old with a job she hates and a boyfriend she doesn't love; Carol is a sophisticated, bored suburban housewife in the throes of a divorce and a custody battle for her only daughter.
As Therese becomes irresistibly drawn into Carol's world, she soon realises how much they both stand to lose....
First published pseudonymously in 1952 as The Price of Salt, Carol is a hauntingly atmospheric love story set against the backdrop of '50s New York.
Copyright Number 9 Files (Carol)Limited / Channel Four Television 2014
©1984 Claire Morgan (P)2014 Isis Publishing
No sooner had I finished this book I wanted to turn around and start it again - I wish I had read it ten years ago when I was starved for books that reflected (in some way) my experiences. Laurel Lefkow's beautiful voice fits the dreamy sonorous landscape of this tale of forbidden love perfectly.
It speaks to a number of interesting themes, including gender, sexuality and class discrimination, all woven into an affecting story and characters you can invest in.
I enjoyed Therese, because of the arc of her story, her self containment and her burgeoning maturity.
When Carol is blackmailed into going home and Therese is left alone.
A story of the possibilities but also the difficulties facing same sex relationships. It was enjoyable but not engrossing!
"Hooray for a happy ending"
Given the date of publication, this is a remarkable work. As a romance, I appreciated there was little lingering over the legal technicalities, but mostly concentration on the development of the relationship between the two women. A great picture of America in the late 40s, and for me, perhaps inspiration for a great American road trip!
I have just finished my second listen of this book, and have ordered the hard copy!
The story is captivating and emotional, the narration from Lisa Lefkow is incredible - so full of passion!
This book is a must!!!
"Great if you want more after the movie"
I really enjoyed this audiobook, the narration specially made listening to it fun and lively. I loved the story as a gay person myself, to recognise and compare feelings that are rarely acknowledged in novels of this kind (historical by someone of that time). And after listening to the whole thing I did hold back tears during the conclusion and my heart grew two sizes from happiness.
My only criticism of the story would be that the main character Therese is a big dramatic weirdo, who cannot stop being grandiloquent for more than ten minutes even while pondering about flowers, cars or old people. But it really comes off as a fully integrated and intended part of the character and not as a writing style flaw. It just leaves you smiling, "oh my god Therese calm down".
Carol. Different. Daring. Intense.
If only. Yes.
I read this years ago and was drawn to it again after the film production was in the news. Its flow from tension to joy to despair dragged me along with it. I kept feeling like I was being punched, like I was nervous and terrified. I can't remember being caught up in a story like this for a long time.
The afterword by Patricia Highsmith is an education in itself.
"Loved, loved, loved this book. Narrated perfectly by Laurel Lefkow."
I was totally engrossed in this book right from the beginning. My favour audible yet.
"A real writer"
Read my first Highsmith recently (The Talented Mr Ripley) and was knocked out by the qualities of her writing. Decided to try this one as something really different. Lots of good things here, besides being very brave in its day.
"Beautiful and that's that...."
Beautiful book, beautiful characters, beautiful writing, beautiful story..... And that's that......
This book is a keeper
a beautiful lesbian romance . not vile or forced by male gaze a true account of love between women
"Slow start but overall great"
when I first started listening, I think I was influenced by the movie trailers. However once I was able to let any preconceived notions go, I thoroughly enjoyed the story.
"A remarkable writer"
To my mind, the story involved too much description of what the characters were thinking. I found my attention wandering because there was so little action in much of it, and later began to dislike the lesbian protagonists, Carol and Therese. Carol despised her husband and Therese, who thought herself 'honest', said unbelievably cruel things to her boyfriend, who was in love with her. That said, the writing is still brilliant.
"Superb novel beautifully read"
This was a totally engaging novel beautifully read from beginning to end. A masterly evocation of first love with the constraints of a 'forbidden' love at the time of the 1950's. The reader, Lauren Lefkow, totally captured the mood and characters
and this will certainly be an audiobook I will revisit.
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