Author: Roberta Kaplan, Lisa Dickey, Edie Windsor
Source: from publisher for review
Links: Bookshop (affiliate link) |Goodreads
Summary: This was an incredible, moving eye-witness account of an important historical event, although there was a bit too much legalese.
As a young woman uncomfortable coming out to her family, Robbie Kaplan found solace in her meetings with therapist Thea Spyer. Years later, Robbie’s position as a successful lawyer enables her to help Thea’s spouse when Thea passes away. Although Thea and Edie had been a couple for decades, had stayed together through Thea’s multiple sclerosis, and had been legally married in Canada, the discriminatory Defense of Marriage Act enabled the state of NY to disregard their marriage. This is Robbie’s first hand account of the ground-breaking supreme court case that lead to that act being overturned.
This book is more emotional than I typically like my nonfiction to be, but in this case, it was perfect. The author wasn’t inserting her political views or personal stories into a nonfiction book on a topic that could be handled objectively. This was the story of her personal involvement with a very important moment in our history. Her story was the story. I loved the amount of personality, humor, and emotion the author included. She had an amazing ability to make me care about the people she cared about.
For the most part, the author’s personal perspective and emotional investment made the legal bits as fascinating and emotional for me as the many moving anecdotes she seamlessly wove into the narrative. I also generally enjoyed having so many primary sources, with direct quotes from the court cases. However, these did sometimes get too technical or too wordy to be enjoyable. That was my only small complaint though. Overall, the author did a great job conveying the emotional and historical significance of every scene. I’d highly recommend this first-hand account of a critical moment in civil rights history.