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Curious Wine

3.83 of 5 stars 3.83  ·  rating details  ·  2,788 ratings  ·  87 reviews
The intimacy of a cabin at Lake Tahoe provides the combustible setting that brings Diana Holland and Lane Christianson together in this passionate novel of first discovery.
Paperback, 200 pages
Published July 1st 2002 by Alyson Books (first published 1983)
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Best Lesbian Fiction
25th out of 1,095 books — 1,346 voters
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Velvet Lounger
“Nothing interesting can possibly happen in a cabin full of women.” So ends the first chapter of Curious Wine, Katherine Forrest’s classic novel of the early 80’s in which 6 women bring their personal issues to a beautiful Tahoe cabin for a weeks skiing in an era when encounter groups were in, padded shoulders were the norm and lesbian romance was definitely still in the closet.

Diane is depressed about breaking up with her boyfriend. As she meets the group she instantly bonds with the gorgeous b
...more
Kirsten
I liked this book because it will tell you exactly why women would choose to become lesbians and why that is so much better than the alternative! Seriously though, it may seem cheesy today, but what do you expect from lesbian fiction written in the early 80's? That's part of the fun, just the descriptions of the clothes and the party games are so weird and hilarious. But you have to see it for what it meant at the time, and consider it a part of women's history. I am sure it was a huge milestone ...more
Melissa DeGott
I thought this book was an absolutely beautiful love story about two people that were meant to be together. I loved the constant references to Emily Dickenson. I thought it was an original story line and way ahead of it's time. I will definately be reading more books by Katherine V. Forrest in the very near future. This book made me laugh, smile, and almost cry. I really enjoyed how the author had such a perfect way of describing the emotions felt by the characters in the book. One of my favorit ...more
Jaie
This was on a list of classic lesbian romance novels so I read it. Written in 1983 and set in 1978, it was very dated. Like watching Dessert Hearts now, I can understand that it was maybe groundbreaking in its day but it just doesn't hold up well. The romance happened fast which I found hard to believe. And *spoiler* there was a rape which I found disconcerting and inadequately processed. And if it was there to compare a hetero relationship with a gay one, a bit problematic.
L.T. Marie


I read Curious Wine 13 years ago and it was my first time ever reading a lesbian romance. 13 years later I still read it all the time and find myself always anticipating the first time Lane and Diana come together. Some of the descriptions may be dated for younger people but this story is truly timeless.
Diana
Feb 20, 2013 Diana rated it 2 of 5 stars
Shelves: 2013
Certainly not great literature, but a nice little, predictable, romance about two women. How I wish there was some truely well written, good literature with interesting lesbian characters out there. Except for Lisa Alther's novels, there really isn't..
Amy P.
I guess this is supposed to be lesbian erotica, or some sort of lesbian love novel...perhaps if you're a straight white man. Seriously, this book is ridiculous.
paula
I read this when I first came out, years ago, as I tried to read everything I could get my hands on. I thought the description of place was very vivid and lovely. I didn't even then think the book was realistic in any way. The "encounter" sessions, where you say horrible things to people you don't even know? That Lane and Diana would become lovers after one of them, I forget which is who, is very upset after such a session? I do not think that a woman who thought of herself as straight would jus ...more
Sally
Jan 01, 2011 Sally rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommended to Sally by: Jen
Shelves: romance, glbt-girls
"Nothing interesting can possibly happen in a cabin full of women."

Loved that line! ;) All up I'd put this as a 3 1/2 star book. I mostly read it because I was really in need of something I *knew* I could finish in one sitting, and also I am going to be strict with my owned-but-not-read list this year! I've had this one waiting for a couple of years now, and am very glad I finally read it. The dialogue was fun and quick, and though it was a LOT racier than my tastes run, at least it wasn't too e
...more
Meagan Hansen
This book was short and sweet. I read it in just two days ( which is a record for me. I'm usually so slow to finish a book ) I enjoyed this. Finally a lesbian romance that is happy. I enjoyed the characters and enjoyed the quick look into such a large moment of their lives. I would have loved to know more about how things went, even would have loved to read a series about these two.
Joie
This book in my opinion is one of the best lesbian romances out there. I happen to be a big fan of Katherine Forrest and this is her best book by far
Linh Nguyen
4.5 stars
This is a love story of two women who are alike in so many ways: both are raised by and have strong bonds with their single fathers, both share similar passion for poetry and music, both are feminine yet strong-willed, independent. It is all about gentleness, tenderness, softness, sensitivity and intensity (words mentioned like a hundred time in the book), something only lesbian relationships can make you feel.
V.T. Davy
This book felt very dated. Published in 1983, the story feels ten years older with its “women’s group” dialogue, feminist posturing and pseudo-psycho activities. The women in the cabin are self-absorbed and dull. Thankfully women have moved on from this sort of “navel gazing”, “group hug” style sisterhood stuff and realised that they are individuals not some sort of collective against the world. The best parts of the book are the scenes between Diana and Lane and the development of their romance ...more
Kate Craig
The story was okay, but I had a lot of trouble with poor grammar as well as the plot. (Spoiler!) For example, there's a scene where Diana, one of the main characters, is raped, but doesn't react in a way any rape victim I have even known, even needing 24 hours to process, heal. Instead, she bathes and then immediately made love to Lane, her love interest that evening as if to atone for running into the arms of a misogynistic, manipulative man. There was zero time needed for her to process this t ...more
Niamh Murphy
Read my full review here: http://niamhmurphyauthor.blogspot.co....

This novel was my first Lesbian Fiction read, and it was a perfect introduction to the genre, it is a book I love and will keep going back to again and again. I would definitely recommend this book, but not just to newbies, for all those veterans of the genre I would also recommend you give this book a go if only to remind yourself of that first time.
A.
***SPOILERSSSSS***

I enjoyed this book greatly. The five star is definitely for it's ability to keep me reading without wanting to ever stop! When it ended I was actually quite sad. I could've kept reading about Diana and Lane for hours and hours.

I specifically liked the slow-build and the intense-ness of the almost randomly honest group of people at the cabin. I've seen people say that it's unrealistic but I've been in situations like this more than once, sometimes a group of people do just come
...more
Nikki
Definitely lesbian chick lit from another generation. Enjoyable, but somewhat bland. And so much entrenched acceptance of sexism! An unembellished window into a different chapter of lesbian America, lacking some depth but pleasant enough for reading in the park.
Avory
This is a very dated book, and a bit in the cheesy romance novel genre. There are some things about it that feel very real, but a lot of it makes me think of bad early 90s hair and the world of the perma-closet.
Natasha (Diarist) Holme
Jan 20, 2014 Natasha (Diarist) Holme rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Romantics
A sweet and unusual lesbian romance. Set in 1978 it is definitely dated, quite amusingly so. Gentle all the way, and subtly gripping, it left me keen throughout to learn how events would unfold.
Bonny
A captivating novel full of sensual magic in the love story between two women. It will make you laugh, feel on edge and maybe even cry.
Kylie
I haven't read this in years but it is just the classic Naiad Romance--one of the first lesbian fiction novels I ever read.
Amy Hauck
one of the first lesbian romances I read and one of my favorites
April
Nov 15, 2014 April rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: hopeless romantics
A solid 5/5 for me. I find it ironic how this is (to me) the best lesbian romance novel and it was published decades ago (early 1980's?)! I love all the Emily Dickinson references and I'm not usually one who likes gooey romance stuff but this amazingly worked for me. It brings out the hopeless romantic in me and makes me wish I had a girlfriend! lol *tear*

I've read this twice and the first time was just as good as the second. I know for a fact I'll be reading this a couple more times in my life.
Sonja
The way the author writes is not really my style, to begin with.
And it's weird to place myself in their shoes. The secrecy for starters... I grew up in a country, that was the first country to legalize gay marriage. Now I'm not saying we don't have haters here, but marriage between 2 women or men is generally "accepted". Walking hand in hand with your gay lover, kissing them in public. So, it's really weird for me to imagine any of the things they go through. When did it take place again? Late 6
...more
Freyja Vanadis
I haven't read this book for many years but I previously gave it five stars when I entered it as one of the books I own, just based on what I remembered of it. But now after reading it again, I have to revise my rating downward. Yes, it's a nice sweet love story, but it's so predictable and unrealistic. Of course the two formerly heterosexual women who meet in a cabin in Tahoe, fall in love and decide to become lesbians and move in together are ravishingly beautiful. Of course most of the men in ...more
Kristin
This was a nice story, which I enjoyed more after hearing several gay friends dissect it and share their opinions of it. That definitely made me appreciate it more than I did on the first reading, since I was coming from a much different perspective. My own first reaction was that the romance between two women meeting for the first time in a friend's cabin was too convenient, especially when one had never been with another woman before, but still I was happy they found each other. The socializat ...more
Erin K
Feb 06, 2008 Erin K rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: lesbians
An unintentionally hilarious book. A lesbian classic? I'm sure this was a giant leap forward at one time. Originally published in 1983, the story's ideas and feel are still firmly moored in the time period.

The story revolves around a cabin of women, a mix of late twenties and late forties, vacationing in Lake Tahoe. With clunky descriptions of big hair, ski clothing (hilariously enough, "ski clothing" is one of Curious Wine's "key phrases" in the Amazon.com search list), an awkward trip to a
...more
D'Anne
This book boasts on its cover that it is "THE MOST POPULAR LESBIAN ROMANCE NOVEL OF ALL TIME," which might be true, but probably shouldn't be. Still, it was published in the early 80s and the pickings were likely very slim back then. Today lesbian romance novels are ubiquitous and, sadly, usually poorly written, very formulaic, and cheesy. Curious Wine is basically the elder stateswoman of this genre, which is worth something in terms of historical context, though that's about it.
Ruby
Jan 03, 2008 Ruby rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: womyn-with-a-y
Shelves: lgbt-etc, fiction
Katherine V. Forrest usually writes mysteries, and I don't read mysteries. So I was unfamiliar with her when she became my teacher at the Lambda Literary Retreat last summer. She's a great teacher, an amazing person, and a good leader.

I picked this up to read, since it was groundbreaking at its publication date--it discussed lesbian sex with some degree of detail. For our standards today it might seem tame, but in context it was racy.

Lane and Dianna's romance was a little sappy and idealistic to
...more
Christine
This book is written like people in old movies talk. The women end up in love and together, so that's good, and there's an accidentally amusing scene at the end where they discuss why one of them shouldn't be "the man," but besides that this thing is pretty trite. It bills itself as the most popular lesbian romance novel of all time (though I'd never heard of it) and if that's true what a horrible terrible no good genre.
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AfterEllen.com Bo...: Curious Wine. 3 59 Jul 05, 2013 07:55AM  
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Katherine V. Forrest is the groundbreaking author of Curious Wine, the Kate Delafield mystery series and the Daughters science-fiction series. She’s also known as a prolific editor with anthology and non-fiction credits in her own name as well as the editor of hundreds of novels. Dozens of lesbian writers count her among their mentors. Selected as the 2009 recipient of the Publishing Triangle’s Bi ...more
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