Holt. May 2023. 320p. ISBN 9781250843135. $26.99. F
Author of the YA title Everything Must Go, Davis makes her adult debut with a darkly humorous exploration of gender, lesbianism, and the struggle to be known. The story centers around Sasha and her butch partner, Jesse, who are spending the winter holidays with their acquaintances, liberal news anchor Jules and her therapist wife, Miranda, at their home in Hudson, NY. Joining them is Jesse’s best friend, Lou, and Lou’s influencer girlfriend, Darcy. Since Jesse has made friends with Darcy, Sasha sees Darcy as a rival and harbors a furious jealousy as Jesse helps Darcy prepare for a live performance planned during the trip. Davis’s prose is simple and rhythmic, making it easy to get absorbed in the story. The middle of the novel drags a bit, but tensions run high near the end before crescendoing to a dramatic finale. The narrative is deeply entrenched in queer culture, and many readers will find the portrayal genuine and have plenty to discuss.
VERDICT A niche read that will really stick the landing when it finds its audience; recommend to readers of messy, queer dramedies who enjoyed Jen Beagin’s Big Swiss.
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