Rosewater by Liv Little
When the likes of @bernardineevaristo are quoted on the cover raving… there are going to be HIGH expectations. This raw and unfiltered debut did not disappoint.
Our main character is 28-year-old queer poet Elsie, a transient south London resident who is trying to navigate her chaotic work, love and family life. The opening scene very much sets the tone as bailiffs attempt to evict Elsie from her social housing flat.
@livslittle captures the tension and anxiety of trying to work out your place in life so well. Elsie writes poetry in the day and works at a gay bar at night, flitting from friend to lover. This vivid character shines through the pages, her resilience through the challenges of being estranged from her family, consistently rejected for jobs, and facing all the anxieties of life is written with tenderness, the words imbued with intensity.
When old friend Juliet returns to her life, things get even more complicated. Lyrical, bold and pulsing with energy, I loved that we go through the mundane daily elements of life with the characters, it’s written conversationally and is easy to read which added to its achingly authentic feel.
The plot ramps up and swerves unexpectedly two thirds of the way through leaving me with readers whiplash, which left me wanting more – always a good sign. Highlights were the poetry contributed by @kai_isaiah_jamal which took my breath away with its power, but was perfectly suited to the story and character. I gulped this one down – C