Half In: A Coming-of-Age Memoir of Forbidden Love
Dividends Press (2022)
Reviewed by Jen Oliver-Rigsby for Reader Views (06/2022)
“Half In” introduces readers to another side of author, Felice Cohen. Already known for her book, “What Papa Told Me” about her grandfather surviving the Holocaust, this is a more intimate side of Felice and the story of her romantic life. Many people struggle to figure out who they are and who they want to be with-whether straight, gay, bi, etc. Felice is no different. What makes her different is the internal struggle that she dealt with in who she is and who she wanted to be with.
Unfortunately, American society tends to care way too much about other peoples’ gender, sexuality, color of their skin, etc. Many times, people will internalize these stigmas, questions, stereotypical remarks and think that their feelings are wrong and should stay secret from the world. When this happens, the only person that is really being destroyed is that one person who is not being true to themselves. “Half In” clearly shows this.
Felice is in love with an older woman… a much older woman. She is confused about how she feels about this and projects it out to the world. It’s bad enough that she’s confused about if she likes men or women (nothing wrong with that) but add the big age difference and the fact that this woman, Sarah, was her boss… keeping the relationship secret was needed…at times. It didn’t help that Sarah was living with her partner Linda at the time and was forced to keep their relationship a secret.
Felice keeps it real in “Half In.” She shares her struggles. She shares her thoughts. She shares the intimate moments that she shared with Sarah and other lovers. She shares her truth. She shares her journey of maturity. She does it in an entertaining light that most readers will come to appreciate. She realizes that she is not happy and one way for her to be happy is to share the love that she and Sarah shared publicly. This sharing is this memoir.
As most memoirs go, “Half In” is relatable. Most readers will find a piece of themselves in it even if they haven’t struggled, like Felice did, with figuring out if they are straight, gay, bi, etc. Readers will relate to how much love is needed and that there is support out there for everyone, even if you have to search long and hard for it.