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Complementary Colors

3.89  ·  Rating details ·  38 Ratings  ·  14 Reviews
What happens when a 31-year-old straight woman falls in love with a lesbian? It's 1993, and Gwen Sullivan is agitated. She's been married and divorced and is now living with her scientist boyfriend who loses himself in dark moods. Her job at a tutoring center and her work on the Bill Clinton-for-President campaign leave her vaguely dissatisfied. She hopes taking a night cl ...more
Paperback, 254 pages
Published August 19th 2009 by Vanilla Heart Publishing
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Collin Kelley
Nov 17, 2009 rated it it was amazing
We meet Gwen Sullivan at a crossroads in her life. She's feeling unsatisfied, but hasn't quite put her finger on why she's so restless. Maybe it's because her boyfriend -- an over-achieving and aloof scientist -- is no longer rocking her world or that she's working a job as a tutor that has no future. She feels adrift and decides that a poetry workshop might spark her creativity. Little does she know that the class will turn her entire life upside down. She falls in love with a woman, Jamie, who ...more
Jan 14, 2010 rated it it was amazing
I liked Evan's last book, For the May Queen, but Complementary Colors exceeded my expectations. Her main character, Gwen, is more developed and more sophisticated intellectually and psychologically. Gwen's depth and acquisitiveness are pronounced, we are privy to her flaws and strengths at once. All of the character complexities are laid bare to see their receptivity and warmth alongside petty or not so petty jealousies.
Miserable and frustrated with her long-term Jewish lover, Daniel, Gwen wond
Jenny Yates
Sep 29, 2013 rated it liked it
This is a good lesbian romance, intelligent and perceptive. It’s the story of a woman who takes a poetry class and so changes her life. This includes exchanging her introverted scientist boyfriend for a free-spirited tattooed woman.

The novel is completely believable. This woman could be a friend, she could be you. The slow process of detachment from an old love, the electricity of new desire – these things are described with clarity and fluidity. Evans is gentle and subtle as she conveys the at
Dec 24, 2009 rated it it was amazing
As a married bisexual woman, I found this a wonderfully disconcerting read. It's rare that I find work in which the narrator's sexuality is so close to my own experience. While I was aware of my bisexuality much earlier than the narrator of Complementary Colors, it's great to find the feelings and experiences of being attracted to both certain men and certain women described instead of labeled. Another page-turner from Kate Evans-- can't wait to see what she publishes next!
Steve  Williams
Dec 03, 2009 rated it it was amazing
This is the 2nd book by Kate Evans that I have read and enjoyed. The characters in this book are so believable that I want to meet them. Her books are set in the Northern CA area, and it also feels like I have been to her locations. I also must share that the love scene in Santa Cruz is a turn on for this straight man.

I can barely remember some of feelings that her central character Gwen experience, but I understand the source of the painful love experiences. I also like the scene in the booksto
Dec 22, 2009 rated it it was amazing
COMPLEMENTARY COLORS follows Kate Evans' first novel, FOR THE MAY QUEEN with an engaging story about a woman coming to terms with who she is and what she wants from life. As an aside, it happens that this involves examining her sexuality and making some difficult life choices, but the book is more about self-exploration and discovery than exploring alternate sexual orientations. I grew to like each of her characters a great deal as I read, and as I got to to know them better, I appreciated that ...more
Danielle Roberts
Dec 26, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Kate Evans’ new novel COMPLEMENTARY COLORS starts off with the lines “I was craving something, but I wasn’t exactly sure what. I wanted something new. I wanted something beautiful.” Nothing could be more appropriate for the way I felt coming into this novel. Evans weaves and entertaining and nuanced tale with wonderful characters and an intimate look on the human dynamic. Her characters are fresh, but real, and the story doesn’t fall back on cliché. Despite being a quick and fun read, I walked a ...more
Ellen Young
Jan 16, 2010 rated it really liked it
This was a highly enjoyable read about a straight woman finding herself in love with another woman while both of them are partnered with other people. Twoo things I loved about the main character was that she was so earnest in her desires and honest about her pain, and in a realistic way, like real people can be when they find themselves torn and confused and overwhelmed by powerful emotions. The plot was admirably constructed so that the events unfolded in a seamless way. A good read all around ...more
Dalit Avnon
Feb 05, 2011 rated it it was amazing
I enjoyed this book... It's very light reading.. Meaning, once you begin reading this book, it's hard to leave it before finishing it.
I liked the narrator of the book, because she was honest to herself.. she was in touch with her own feelings and was open to explore them.
Same thing with the other woman - Jamie - she also was honest with her feelings and she expressed them directly.
I saw her bluntness of expressing feelings as something rare in our days. Most people would play games.. or hide the
Oct 02, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  (Review from the author)
I had fun giving my own book 5 stars. Take that, New York Times book reviewers!

The journey of writing this novel was an arduous joy, as is my way with writing, and I'm excited that Gwen, Daniel, Jamie and Cat will soon be in the hands of readers. Who knows how my story will play out in others' minds? Words always do less than we want and more than we know.
Glenda Bailey-Mershon
Oct 06, 2010 rated it liked it
Shelves: recent
More than a coming-of-age story, this is an examination of what it takes to accept oneself and commit to love. Good writing.
Oct 28, 2010 rated it really liked it
Shelves: gay-lesbian
Interesting look at a woman coming into her own. Some beautiful, almost poetic images.
Jan 12, 2010 rated it really liked it
Interesting book about a difficult subject! Well written. It is not my usual choice of reading matter.
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Kate is the author of the best-selling memoir, "Call It Wonder: an odyssey of love, sex, spirit, and travel," named "Best Memoir" at the 2016 Bi Book Awards--where Kate was also lauded as "Bi Writer of the Year."

She has also written two novels, a poetry collection, and a book about teaching. Her stories, poems and essays have appeared in more than 50 publications.

Half the year she lives in Mexico
More about Kate Evans...