This is one of those legendary series of books that I always thought, for some reason, were heavier reads than they actually are - if this first one is anything to go by anyway. Not sure why I thought that. But it turns out it's rather like 1970s chicklit. And why 'legendary' I'm not sure either - it was fun but nothing spectacular, imo.
Briefly, it starts with Mary Ann, a PA from Cleveland, deciding to settle in San Francisco. She's rather green but soon settles into Mrs. Madrigal's boarding house, gets a job and meets all kinds of people. That's it basically.
It's interesting the way Maupin ties a large cast of characters to each other without the others knowing, bit like the Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon game. And I liked the small chapters dealing with different people. One thing that did surprise me was how gay San Francisco was in the 70s - I thought that was a later thing. Certainly then this is a pre-AIDS city - if you get my drift. *cough* A fun read - there are at least half a dozen more but whether I'll bother I'm not certain; only if I happen to see them in the library (where I found this one) I suspect.