Don't You Dare: Uncovering Lost Love by Gayla Turner

Title:  Don't You Dare: Uncovering Lost Love
Author: Gayla Turner
Publisher: BookBaby
Genre:  Biographies & Memoirs, LGBTQIA, Nonfiction (Adult) 
Format:  Kindle
No. of Pages: 258
Date of Publication:  24 May, 2022
My Rating:  2 Stars

My Thoughts 

Ms. Turner’s grandmother’s story was one of moments of such happiness but of a life more of duty than contentment. I’m glad we’ve come this far since Ruby’s time, but we still have far, far to go for women’s rights in general. 

The writing here is perfectly adequate but I personally found it be lacking to the point where what could have been good, was merely okay, and that did affect my enjoyment of this slice of history. Though this left me feeling agitated about the past and the current state (Roe v. Wade ruling to come), it's an important story.

eARC kindly provided by BookBaby and NetGalley. Opinions shared are my own.


"Don't You Dare" is a compelling story that weaves together a current-day journey of discovery and a true-life love story between two women that took place over a hundred years ago. Newspaper headlines and stories back then didn't mention LGBTQ people. The LGBTQ community loved and lived in the background of society because it was too dangerous to do otherwise. All were hidden, just like the wedding photos belonging to author Gayla Turner's grandmother – Ruby. This unforgettable book begins with the discovery of these hidden wedding photos dated June 8, 1915. As these photos unveiled an awe-inspiring secret, Gayla Turner embarked on a seven-year journey to find out more about her grandmother and the woman standing next to her dressed as the groom.

Curiosity led to extensive research that uncovered a love story between Ruby and the mystery woman in the photos. The author also uncovered a secret lesbian social club that was formed in the early 1900s by a local businesswoman. Women from as far away as Chicago traveled by train to the little farm town of Amherst, Wisconsin, to attend her exclusive parties. The local town people thought Cora held private tea and card parties so single young ladies could talk about how to find a husband. Little did they know, finding a man was not a subject of their conversations.


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