The Heart Begins Here by Jacqueline Dumas
The Heart Begins Here is the story of the ever-optimistic, earnest Sara Requier and her disintegrating seven-year relationship with the cynical Wanda Wysoka.
Along with her relationship struggles, Sara must contend with the drastic changes in the book industry that threaten her feminist bookstore, as well as a mother who refuses to accept her daughter's lesbianism. Then, just as Wanda decides to leave Sara, Wanda's new young lover, Cindy, is murdered.
The story takes place in a western Canadian city in 2001 -- much of it in Sara's bookstore, Common Reader Books -- in the shadow of the disturbing political climate that followed the 9/11 attacks in the U.S. This is a transitional point in the Canadian book industry: the proliferation of big box stores, the expansion of the Internet -- and Sara is caught up in the concomitant changes in her community. The book explores themes of love and loss, of the lingering effects of a dysfunctional childhood, of misogyny, of personal and societal homophobia, and especially the challenge of integrating the personal with the political.
Paperback / 180 pages