Review

Review: House of Impossible Beauties by Joseph Cassara

House of Impossible Beauties charts the lives of the drags queens that formed the beginning of legendary Latino drag house, the House of Xtravaganza. In 1980s New York City, Angel is seventeen and finally coming into her own. When her mother rejects her, she looks for a new family in the ball scene, where she meets Hector. They fall in love and decide to create their own all-Latino house, with Angel as the ruling mother, and Hector beside her as house father. When Hector dies from AIDs-related causes, Angel must mother her drag children alone. Venus, Juanito and Daniel all lean on each other and their mother Angel, as they learn how to navigate the ballroom scene, along with sex work, drug addiction, and society’s rejection of their true selves.

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Review: Under the Udala Trees by Chinelo Okparanta

Ijeoma is coming of age during the Nigerian Civil War, a conflict that devastates her home and her family. Sent away by her mother for her own safety, Ijeoma finds herself embarking on a passionate love affair with another girl. She quickly learns the consequences of expressing this part of her identity and struggles to navigate the violent prejudices of her people.

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Review: Oranges Are Not the Only Fruit by Jeanette Winterson

Oranges Are Not the Only Fruit is a coming-of-age story that follows a young Northern girl named Jeanette. Adopted and raised in a religious family, Jeanette believes she is destined to become a missionary. As Jeanette reaches her teenage years, she finds herself falling in love with another girl, and her strict Pentecostal church responds with vehemence.

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Review: The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid

At the age of 79, the elusive Sixties Hollywood starlet Evelyn Hugo decides to tell the story of her life, on the condition that she speaks only to little-known writer Monique Grant. No one can quite understand why Hugo has chosen Monique, most of all Monique, but she jumps at a chance to kick-start her career with this scoop. As Evelyn unravels all her secrets, including the ins and outs of her numerous marriages, her story hurtles towards a tragic intersection with Monique’s own life, finally revealing why she was chosen to tell Evelyn’s story.

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