Sphere, London, 1972
30p; 192 pages)
(first published by Sphere in 1968, copyright 1950)
The blurb on the back:
London during the Blitz. An old house in Down Street turned into a barracks for the women's division of the Free French Forces.
Ursula, innocent and doomed, a powerless victim of those who exploited her.
Claude, a handsome woman of forty who preyed on men and women equally in her quest for novelty.
Jacqueline, the sullen precious-looking aristocrat who paid a price for her pride.
Ann, who never let any man touch her except for the brother of the woman she loved.
Mickey, who liked to hear what a beautiful body she had and couldn't bear to waste it.
From the raw material of her own experiences as a volunteer in the Free French Forces, Toreska Torres has woven the story of a group of young girls in war-time, many of them utterly innocent when they entered the service where they were thrown together with women who had lived through every type of experience.
If you do an online search for this book, you'll probably turn up a few sites claiming that it's a key text in populist lesbian fiction. It appears that back in the 1950s and '60s it was only at the pulp end of the market that a young gay woman could find any kind of depiction of herself, and that these books are therefore of some significance. Not having been a young lesbian in the 1950s, I can't really comment on that aspect. As far as I can see (and I apologize for being such a Philistine) there's nothing of any interest whatsoever beyond the cover.
ARTISTIC MERIT: 2/5
ENTERTAINMENT VALUE: 1/5
HIPNESS QUOTIENT: 3/5