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Reviewed by Jack Magnus for Readers' Favorite
A Widgie Knight and Zoe’s Journal: Intertwined Souls Series Shorts, Volume 1 is an historical family saga novella written by Mary D. Brooks with illustrations by Lucia Nobrega. The Intertwined Souls saga is set in the mid-20th century in the aftermath of the Second World War. Zoe and Eva are a lesbian couple who have emigrated to Australia. Zoe is a talented artist who has obtained a position in the Sydney Art Gallery, where she works as a junior art restorer. While she loves the creative aspects of her work, the unwanted attentions of Sebastian Fletcher, a renowned and highly influential artist, are making her work existence a hellish and frightening experience. Zoe knows his position in the gallery means he can have her fired, and she feels helpless and vulnerable. When he traps her in a storeroom and his rough handling injures her, Eva decides to take matters into her own hands. Eva is a tall woman, who can assume a most intimidating role if necessary, even if it is completely antithetical to her genuine and unassuming nature. She will be assuming the role of Zoe’s widgie knight at the masquerade party which the gallery is holding, and Fletcher won’t be bothering Zoe anymore.
Mary D. Brooks’ historical family saga, A Widgie Knight and Zoe’s Journal: Intertwined Souls Series Shorts, Volume 1, is an illuminating exploration into the lives of Zoe and Eva, five years after their emigration from Europe. I had previously read book 5 in the Intertwined Souls Sage, No Good Deed, and appreciated seeing the two women at this earlier stage in their lives and relationships. Brooks defines the word ‘widgie’ for those readers who are not familiar with the Australian lingo of the 1950s, and Lucia Nobrega’s stylish illustrations reinforce the concept quite well. Brooks’ saga deftly points out the stresses and subterfuge that were part of the survival gear for lesbians and gays at the time, and watching Eva’s discomfort and pain as Zoe is interacting with her ‘pretend boyfriend’ Patrick was a most poignant and moving part of the story. Zoe’s Journal is a joy to read as her voice is bright and loving, and seeing life through her eyes is a illuminating experience. A Widgie Knight and Zoe’s Journal: Intertwined Souls Series Shorts, Volume 1 is highly recommended.