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Cast Me Gently

4.25  ·  Rating details ·  174 ratings  ·  33 reviews
Teresa Benedetto and Ellie Ryan couldn’t be more different, at least on the surface.
Teresa still lives at home. As much as she loves her boisterous Italian family, she feels trapped by them and their plans for her life. Their love is suffocating her.
Ellie has been on her own for years, working hard to save up enough to live her dream of escaping from Pittsburgh to travel
Published October 2015 by Ylva Publishing
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Average rating 4.25  · 
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Cast Me Gently, by Caren J. Werlinger is a breathtakingly beautiful book. This book is everything a romance novel should be. It has angst, obstacles, and truly heartfelt emotions. This sometimes bittersweet story will pull you in and steal your heart.

Ronald Regan is months away from being sworn into the office as the president. Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania’s economy is right on the cusp of bottoming out. The number of out of work men and women is growing, along with the number is people forced to li
If there is one book that sold me on the cover and title alone, it's this. Simple yet poetic and truly enchanting.

The blurb doesn't reveal much beyond the basic setting and timeframe: 1980s Pittsburgh, and the two ladies' backgrounds. But underneath the cover is a rich and vibrant story encompassing myriad themes: family ties in an extended, close-knit family; restrictive societal attitudes toward same-sex relationships; homelessness and struggles in financially troubled times; even sexual hara
Mar 24, 2020 rated it really liked it
I know this is an older story and others have reviewed this in better detail already, so I'll make this short and sweet.

I love Werlinger! Her writing style is so poetic and lyrical to me, it's always just a calm place of rest for me. This one was an audiobook for me, and I loved the narrator as well. Her voice was perfect for the story! Solid 4 stars.
Sep 07, 2015 rated it it was amazing
An amazing read.

Werlinger succeeds in giving the reader a beautiful and sometimes heartbreaking love story. She doesn't sugar-coat Ellie and Theresa's lives or the challenges they face in their homes or workplace. Her attention to detail and a full cast of well developed secondary characters makes this a story that stays with you long after you have closed the final page. It's a credit to the author that a story set in the 1980's can be equally relevant and applicable to many places in the worl
Sep 08, 2015 rated it really liked it
When I read lesbian romance nowadays I frequently end up asking myself if there are no poor, fat or flawed lesbians anymore. The L Word may have been a blessing at a time, but it's beginning to feel more like a curse.

Fortunately for us, some writters have not forgetten that we, lesbians, are real people too, and they bless us with real people's love stories such as this one.

Cast me gently is an honest book. The author has made an effort to introduce us with characters that we can relate to, wi
Aug 12, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: lesbian-bi
Reading “Cast Me Gently” was like having a cup of tea with an amazing lady who do you the honor of sharing the story of her life, you can’t help but feel captivated by her, you can’t help but empathize with her pain, you can’t help but feel the happiness once she gets there, but most of all you can’t help but think that her experience could have been yours.

“Cast Me Gently” isn’t your typical romance novel, indeed, set in 1980 Pittsburgh, homosexuality has just become legal but is still frowned
Jul 26, 2017 rated it really liked it
Cast me Gently is a heartening and somewhat bittersweet story of loneliness, first loves and family, taking place in the 1980's. The theme is about growing up and shows that it's possible to change the situation in life, if only one dares to try. However, it also portrays a harsh reality that we sometimes need to give things up to achieve these goals.

Family is everything to Teresa(34), she works for and breathes the family life daily, firmly rooted where the apple fell from the tree. Ellie(26)
~ * K E L L I E * ~
Apr 04, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: read-2015
What an AMAZING book - I LOVED IT!

I usually power through novels, especially the ones I love, as I don't want to put them down until I reach 'the end'. Unfortunately, due to a heavy work schedule (aka wake, work extended hours, eat, sleep, repeat), I didn't get much of a chance to read at my normal pace. Fortunately, this extended the time spent immersing myself in Teresa and Ellie's lives over a week rather than a few days...

The story takes place in 1980 (yes, 35 years ago) and the author real
So far I haven't read a Caren J. Werlinger book I didn't like and it probably won't happen anytime soon. This author knows how to write realistic and engaging characters and sets them in a world that is always interesting. I loved the story of Teresa and Ellie in 1980's Pittsburgh. Their's is not an easy love story by any means but I kept rooting for them all throughout the book to find a way to be together.


Themes: famiglia, catholic guilt, everyone smokes everywhere! How soon we forget that
Oct 16, 2015 rated it really liked it
As with other books by Caren Werlinger, Cast Me Gently upholds its usual high standards. However, I am not as shaken at the end compared to the previous titles I read by her.
Aug 27, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites, 2018
A beautiful story.
Oct 03, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Wow! Definitely a must read!
Mar 13, 2016 rated it it was amazing
A beautiful story of love and hope
Cynthia Corral
Sep 05, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: netgalley
I received an advance copy of this from NetGalley for review.

I loved it.
I just adored everyone in it, I laughed, I cried, I relived events from my own past.
This is billed as a "classic lesbian romance" and I don't really do romance novels. But this was more than that to me. It was a really great story that was about a romance. Set in 1980 Pittsburgh, it covered many other topics, such as the death of parents, the life of the homeless, the fact that the phrase "sexual harassment" did not exist in
Velvet Lounger
Jan 09, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: romcom
Cast Me Gently is a story of growing up, of loneliness, of coming out and the transformative affects of falling in love. Caren Werlinger always writes intriguing novels about complex and very real people. Once again her well-crafted plot and elegant prose transport us into the lives of her characters with all consuming intensity.

Ellie is alone; she lost her mother early and her brother to the streets. She has carved a life for herself, growing up fast and surviving by shear hard work. Somehow sh
Sep 08, 2015 rated it liked it
Cast me gently sends us back to the 80's. When cities had sub-cities, little Italy Chinatown,etc... And you didn't roam outside your section for anything, especially not love. Nice build up and romance of the two main characters. Their coming out stories and family reactions were probably typical for the times. The story takes a turn and at that time gets a bit bogged down. Also we never tied up the loose ends. Wanted to know what happened to the brother. Oh well, I liked it but wasn't a favorit ...more
Dec 10, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I really loved this although it was a frustrating read but also brilliant, deserves the full 5 stars and more.
It's a good job I don't have work tomorrow or should I say today
Jun 08, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Classic. Well written.
Sep 16, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Love has a transformative power, but how this transformation takes place and how it feels is unique to every individual. In Cast Me Gently, love transforms Ellie Ryan and Teresa Benedetto, as well as both of their lives. The story captures so much about falling in love—its power over us, and also the courage it can give us to do what is most difficult. However, falling in love never happens in a vacuum, and one of the many strengths of this work is the richly developed setting and context of Ter ...more
Charlotte Loudermilt
Feb 17, 2016 rated it did not like it

If this book came with a soundtrack it would be on cassette tape. So grab your boom box and get ready to enter the world of Magnum, P.I. television, rotary telephones, and soon-to-be Reagan politics. Cast Me Gently is set in 1980s Pittsburgh where due to the numerous steel mill layoffs, the homeless and hungry are plentiful. However, author Caren Werlinger provides us with a love story despite the hardships and bleak outlook of the city.

Even though the main character, Teresa Benedetto, is 34 th
Jul 01, 2020 rated it really liked it
Great book with well rounded characters and a pretty believable story. Still did not make 5 for me but close, 4 stars plus. I have several of her other books flagged to read and dont know why I have not got into them. That will have to change if they are this kind of calibre.
Aug 13, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I received this book from the publisher on NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Cast Me Gently is a book about family, love and what it means to overcome great obstacles that seem impossible at the time.

Teresa Benedetto comes from an Italian Catholic family who is set in their ways. She is thirty-four, still living with her parents and works in their family owned drug store.

We start out with Teresa experiencing the unfairness of what it is to be a women in the 1980s. She picks up on this
Dorothy Bennett
Feb 06, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This is my kind of book! Gentle love story with complications created realistically via relatives, friends, jobs, and life in general. Set in Pittsburgh in 1980, the story is about a pharmacist from a close-knit Italian family, Teresa, and Ellie, a young woman who has been on her own. An encounter leads to a friendship which leads to an attraction which leads to a relationship. And then the complications begin! Werlinger has told a sweet and touching story about two delightful protagonists and a ...more
Elena Graf
Oct 29, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This book got off to a slow start, but soon I was completely immersed in Ellie and Teresa’s story. I lived through this era and came from a tight-knit ethnic family, so I strongly identified with the characters. The conflicts these women faced and their responses rang true. The author’s writing is smooth and tells the story without calling attention to itself. Recommended.
Nov 14, 2019 rated it really liked it
I loved it! I knew it takes place in the 80´s but while I´m reading I always thougt it to be the 60´s, maybe I had watched Carol too often..
And everytime I reminded myself that it´s the 80´s I couldn´t understand why Teresa was doing this to herself. Maybe thats the reason ist hasn´t gotten 5 Stars because it was hard for me to relate.
Other than that it is a beautiful love story!
Elisa Rolle
Sep 26, 2016 rated it it was amazing
2016 Rainbow Awards Honorable Mention: Cast Me Gently by Caren J. Werlinger
1) It was by far the most enjoyable of the five books I read for the awards this year. Overall, the writing was strong, but there was an overuse of the word "as" and several clunky passages throughout the book. A few times, the author used phrases that made me roll my eyes. "Her eyes shone with tears," "tears were running down her cheeks," "her eyes filling with tears." As far as the setting, the details placing the story
Ameliah Faith
Nov 12, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Teresa and Ellie, Sitting in a Tree....

Set in the 1980s Teresa Benedetto is the dutiful, nerdy daughter of a very Italian couple in a very Italian family in a very American-Italian neighbourhood in Philly. She is 34, frumpy and never been touched. She goes to church every week with the family, works in her parents' store, lives with her parents, sleeps in the twin bed she has used since she was a child... She is long overdue a change!

Ellie Ryan is a new teller in the bank the Benedetto's use. S
Margaret L. Hedman
I loved this book.

I loved Cast me Gently. Teresa and Ellie are great, warm, loving, struggling middle class wage earners who want and deserve more. Loved it!
Mar 04, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: romance, lgbt
Disclaimer: I received a free copy of this book through

It's been a while since I enjoyed a purely romance story.

I started reading this book with a bit of apprehension, after I realized that despite having read quite a few gay romances, it was a first when it comes to lesbian one. But I shouldn't have.

If the storyline is a bit classic, I found the characters really realistic, not stereotyped. I liked how "normal" they were, with their flaws and strenghts. They could have been anyon
Mar 17, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A true love story

Caren Werlinger did it again. The book deserves 10 stars if they had it. I thought after reading Miserere she would have a hard time living up to that one. Oh but she did and even more. I loved the characters Teresa and Ellie. And storyline was well written and seamed real. Thanks Caren
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From the author's website: Bestselling author Caren Werlinger published her first award-winning novel, Looking Through Windows, in 2008. Since then, she has published fifteen more novels, winning several more awards. Influenced by a diverse array of authors, including Rumer Godden, J.R.R. Tolkein, Ursula LeGuin, Marion Zimmer Bradley, Willa Cather and the Brontë sisters, Caren writes literary fict ...more

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