Queer Words: 3 Novels About Women Loving Women
Say hello and welcome to our new words and comics blogger Bee Musawah.
In the first in a new series - Queer Words – Bee recommends three novels about women who love women. Your summer holiday reading list starts here.
There’s never a bad time to read books about women who love and long for other women, but summer is the perfect time to pick up a new novel. The literature market seems to have exploded recently with so many great stories about lesbian love and it fills my queer heart with bliss to gush about them. In particular, there are some brilliant novels which include queer people of colour; T-H-E J-O-Y!
Here are 3 recommendations of recent books about diverse lesbian love, relationships and struggles.
Marriage of a Thousand Lies
(Soho Press, 2017)
Lucky is a lesbian south Asian woman who finds herself agreeing to marry her gay friend Kris to be able to live a very gay life away from their families and a very straight one in front of them.
Things start to crumble when Nisha reappears in Lucky’s life and their old love and connection is rekindled. Lucky begins to battle her desire to be with the woman she loves while living a life of lies for the sake of her conservative Sri Lankan family and community.
The novel is a gorgeous, heartbreaking and important read that shows how different cultures can be, how difficult it is to break away from what you’ve always grown up knowing, how tiresome it is to hide and lie about your sexuality and how sometimes all you might need is that extra push of support from those you love to be able to break that cycle.
(Little Brown, 2017)
Mirka is a young Slovakian migrant who leaves her parents’ home after an argument and gets a job in rural England. She expects to work as a house cleaner only to have her new employer Richard teach her the ins and outs of taxidermy.
She slowly forms a casual friendship with Richard and his wife Sophie, until Mirka finds herself spending more time with Sophie. They begin talking about their lives with Mirka admitting to her that she is gay.
Things start to take a turn after that point (as you might have expected) and Kaye’s writing is very gripping. She pulls you in with themes of obsession and lust while looking into the ideas of belonging, immigration, language, identity, sex, being gay and the fetishization of lesbian sex.
The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo
Taylor Jenkins Reid
(Atria Books, 2017)
Lesbian, bisexual and Black representation all in one book. For me, that’s enough reason to pick it up! But more than that, this is an epic love story which portrays the life of the film legend Evelyn Hugo.
Going back and forth between the past and the future, the characters in this book are complex and given space to flourish. The details of their lives and what it was like being in the gay scene in the 1950’s - 1980’s is fascinating, while the queer love is beautiful and heartfelt. The bisexual representation is also wonderful and nuanced.
I can gush about this brilliant book, which also addresses feminist themes, homophobia, biphobia and friendship. FYI, it might also make you shed a few tears.
Have you read any of these books? Let’s talk. Share with your comments, thoughts and recommendations for Bee on our social media channels. What should Bee read next? Let us know.