North Coast

A Contemporary Love Story

by Dorothy Rice Bennett


Book Details

Love blossoms unbidden on California's North Coast

Valerie, an aspiring artist, has fled San Francisco following the death of her longtime partner and begun a new life in Eureka, a remote community on California’s scenic North Coast. When she advertises for a roomer, the woman who responds is tall and blue-eyed and lovely…with more mental baggage than personal belongings. Valerie finds her reclusive new tenant an intriguing mystery. Why, Val wonders, would Gina, a highly educated young woman, work as a part-time waitress rather than teach college? And is she a lesbian? Eventually, Gina reveals an emotional crisis over her sexuality that has left her with a large debt. She longs to live in San Francisco, which for an Illinois farm girl seems the pinnacle of sophistication and where she wants to teach and create a future. Living together with a dog named Sam pulls Valerie and Gina into tentative intimacies that each tries to ignore. Valerie is stable and envisions only a dedicated relationship with another mature adult. Gina, still sorting herself out, thinks that writing and teaching are her top priority. The two women grow on each other, but find themselves continually fighting the spark of physical attraction, and since their ages and life goals are so different, their lesbian friends also warn them off. Gina finally says good-bye to Eureka and sets course for San Francisco—after a bittersweet farewell. But as her battered Beetle heads down the 101 to the big city, she—like Valerie—is unaware that her heart may know more than her head… North Coast is an elegant, richly layered testament to the kind of love—especially between two women—that grows and deepens over time.


Book Excerpt

Gina pushed the battered green Beetle to the limit as she sped up the 101 to Eureka. She had left San Francisco just after dawn, and she wanted to be on the North Coast by mid-afternoon. With each mile marker she passed, her heart seemed to pound more wildly and she fought a giant lump in her throat. One thought, one question spurred her on. Would Valerie want her—would Val even speak to her—after all these months? She didn’t know the answer. She didn’t know if she could handle a rejection, but she was going anyway. . .


About the Author

Dorothy Rice Bennett

Dorothy Rice Bennett began writing stories in grade school. Having earned four college degrees, she had two careers: as a family therapist and a journalist. Once married and the mother of an adopted daughter, she now lives with her partner and two toy poodles on Washington’s Olympic Peninsula. North Coast is her debut novel.

Also by Dorothy Rice Bennett

The Artemis Adventure