Review from Amos Lassen
Review from David Mixner
Review in New Connexion
Review in Publisher’s Weekly
Review in San Jose Mercury News
Review in South Florida Gay News
Review in Windy City Times
Review from Richard Labonte, Book Marks (picked up by a dozen LGBT publications and web sites)
Torn Apart: United by Love, Divided by Law_, by Judy Rickard. Findhorn Press, 272 pages, $20 paper.
Part memoir of anguish and part call to action, this timely book tackles an issue that incorporates two contemporary LGBT concerns – same-sex marriage and immigration rights. Rickard, an American, and her British partner, Karin, met online several years ago, were soon committed life partners, and to stay together have become domestic vagabonds; Karin’s stays in the U.S. are limited by visitor visas, and she never knows whether she’ll be granted the next one. Rickard chronicles their travels, their border-crossing traumas and their determination to stay together in the book’s first third; the heart-wrenching stories of more than a dozen lesbian and gay couples denied the right to live together in America follow. Some couples, like Judy and Karin, bounce from country to country; others live with student or work visa expirations looming; one man has opted to live in the country illegally, but faces deportation if he’s caught. Adding the political to the emotional, the last third of this poignant and powerful book offers a wealth of information on how queers fit into comprehensive immigration reform.
link to it in the Calgary/Edmonton magazine:
amazon.com review from Karla
How many people actually know the plight of same sex binational couples? There are thousands upon thousands of them, and Judy Rickard tells the stories of about 20 of them in her book. This book brought me to tears, I wonder why we persecute and break up couples whose only crime is that they love each other? Who, in this country, can be so very cruel? This is not just a book for the converted, I hope that many many people who have never known about this tragic situation will read this book and want to make a difference.
This book tells the stories of many couples. One half of the couple is an American Citizen the other half is not. Normally, this would not be an immigration problem except for one thing: These couples are of the same sex and therefore, the United States Federal government will not recognize their relationships. How heartbreaking to read story after story of couples living in exile or separated from their loved ones. Judy Rickard writes from the heart. It is well worth the purchase.
amazon.com review from Bob Lind, Echo Magazine
Thousands of same-sex binational couples are kept apart by U.S. immigration policies that don’t just fail to recognize that two people of the same gender can have a positive, fulfilling and committed relationship, but actually target the non-citizen half of such couples as a security risk. Despite the work of activist groups such as Immigration Equality, Love Exiles and Out4Immigration, and numerous attempts by understanding elected representatives to push through legislation to eliminate this unfair policy, many couples have left the US to live in other countries, or to live nomadic lives traveling to a variety of countries, in order to avoid being split up.
The book begins with a forward by Elizabeth Gilbert, celebrated author of “Eat, Pray, Love,” who is happily married to a man from Brazil. She points out the hypocrisy that they never had a problem being together, since immigration law allows citizens to bring in their fiancés, citizens or not. The fact that same sex couples are denied similar treatment, simply because we don’t have the option to marry under federal law, has made her an activist for a change in policy to eliminate this blatant discrimination, and inspired the author to tell her story.
Judy Rickard and her partner Karin, a British citizen, have endured long separations and taken trips simply to be together as much as possible. She also introduces us to over a dozen additional couples with similar (and worse) stories, with tales of their partner being dragged from their home in the middle of the night, of forced, immediate deportations, living in exile to avoid prosecution, having to pay thousands in legal fees while fighting life-threatening illnesses, The book covers idiosyncrasies in existing rules for “green cards”, student and work visas, binational citizenships, and humanitarian visas that work against same-sex couples. And it discusses how such couples may choose to arrange “sham” marriages to opposite sex partners, just to get the opportunity to be in the same country together.
It’s a powerful indictment of a legislative policy, formed in the name of homeland security that is running amuck and violating the basic rights of thousands of Americans. The book includes an extensive appendix of research sources, applicable legislative cites, proposed laws, and things you can do to help. All royalties from the book are being donated to lobbying groups involved in the effort. Not an easy read, but an important one. Five stars out of five.
- Bob Lind, Echo Magazine