Take a successful political lobbyist and a noted entomologist and you have the makings of some interesting discourse, particularly when both these women were former high school lovers.
KA Moll has once again delivered a detailed character study of women who are struggling with their past to make a future for themselves. Change of Heart carries less burden than the backstories of her characters from Haunting Love but still deals with issues of alcoholism, desertion, family and rejection. On the surface, it’s hard to believe it’s a love story.
In this modern day romance, Jackie Lynn and Courtney Holloman were high school sweethearts separated when the latter left town unexpectedly. Two decades later, their paths cross in the political arena, reviving twenty years of bitterness and heartache.
Jack is now a down-to-Earth Ojibwe healer fighting to protect the decimation of bee populations, while Courtney struggles with alcoholism, family rejection and a job that challenges her moral fibre. They’re on opposite sides of the spectrum, both personally and professionally. As their love for each other is reignited, they face the challenges of understanding the truths of their past and the frictions of their present.
Narrator Michele Musso seems unphased by the complexity of KA Moll’s well-defined characters, delivering an emotionally complex reading that breathes life into the tumultuous worlds of Jack and Courtney. From their controlled political engagements to their heartfelt trials and tribulations, Musso helps the listener experience the emotion, making for a highly engaging production. Her depictions of supporting characters gives each a unique vibe, with particular excellence in her representation of Jack and Courtney’s parents.
The unabridged audiobook of Change of Heart runs for 6 hours and 3 minutes. Musso gives a performance more than a reading for much of the book and, with KA Moll’s grasp of the complexities of human nature, Change of Heart may just give newcomers a change of mind about lesbian romance.
Reviewed by Rod Lewis
Rating out of 10: 8
Publisher: Triplicity Publishing
Release Date: 29 June 2016
RRP: Audiobook $27.65