S. & S. Mar. 2024. 336p. ISBN 9781668010990. $27.99. F
DEBUT Lee’s debut explores issues of her protagonist’s identity and the roles she must take on in order to exist in a city and a workplace where racism and sexism have deep impacts. Ceyda, known as Jade to everyone but her family, works as a lawyer in a high-powered London firm. Her immigrant parents are Korean (mother) and Turkish (father). They created a loving home for her but their expectations for her success in life drive Jade to succeed, even when she’s not sure that she likes what she’s doing. One morning after a law firm party, Jade wakes with no memory of how she got home and discovers disturbing clues about what might have happened to her the night before. As she pieces the evening together, she finds the rest of her life is crumbling around her. The more she learns, the harder it gets to keep it all to herself. But if she doesn’t, the results will be literally life changing.
VERDICT A thoughtful, unflinching examination of all of the ways in which women (especially women of color) conform to fit others’ expectations, how damaging that can be, and the empowerment of subverting constraints. For readers who appreciated Kate Elizabeth Russell’s My Dark Vanessa.
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