6 LGBTQ+ fiction recommendations

Review copy of Paulina & Fran by Rachel B. Glaser from the publisher, Granta Books, included. No affiliate links used. You can read my full disclosure policy here.

Queer fiction is not a single genre. Queer characters can and should appear in everything from Sci-Fi and fantasy to crime fiction. Queerness is not some “other” that can be ignored. Nor should it be ignored.

I’ve spoken before about what queerness in literature, TV, film and music meant to my young gay self. And what they meant to my twenty-something self, when I realised I was bisexual. Representation matters.

Younger me was particularly drawn to female queer characters, so the majority of this list is compiled of lesbian and bisexual women.

6 LGBTQ+ fiction recommendations - Part One

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5 questions with Margot Livesey

Mercury by Margot Livesey. Advance Reader Copy (ARC) from the publisher, Sceptre, via bookbridgr. No affiliate links used. You can read my full disclosure policy here.

Mercury took me by surprise, when I read it back in April. It’s a slow moving, yet enthralling, exploration of love, marriage, obsession, and deceit. With a side of crime.

When the opportunity arose to ask Margot Livesey some questions, I jumped at the chance.

Mercury by Margot Livesey (Book Cover)

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5 questions with Caroline Farrell

Lady Beth by Caroline E. Farrell. No affiliate links used. You can read my full disclosure policy here.

Beth has never told her son who his father is. She wants nothing more than to protect him, so it’s best he doesn’t know. The memories are too painful for Beth and there is nothing to be gained by revisiting them. Then tragedy strikes and Beth is lefty with no option but to deal with the aspects of her past she would rather forget.

Jesse wants to live his life, his own way, without his mother watching his every move. Why must she be so clingy? Can’t she see how suffocating she is being?

Lady Beth is a fast-paced tale of Dublin’s underworld; a tale of the affects of crime and drugs not only on those involved, but on the people around them. Farrell’s writing is taut and grabs your attention immediately.

Lady Beth by Caroline E. Farrell

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5 questions with Triona Scully

Nailing Jess by Triona Scully. Advance Reader Copy (eARC) from the author included. No affiliate links used. You can read my full disclosure policy here.

How different would things be if Adam, not Eve, had taken the first bite? This is the premise of Triona Scully’s debut novel Nailing Jess; it’s a matriarchy where the gender roles are reversed.

DCI Jane Wayne has been reprimanded, again, for her inappropriate behaviour toward her colleagues. As result she has been replaced as the lead on a serial killer case by DI Ben Campbell. Wayne does not take this well. Demotion is one thing but taking orders from a man, and an ugly one at that, is an entirely different matter.

As a fan of crime fiction, I’ve given more than a little thought to how women are, more often than not, depicted within the genre. Nailing Jess shines a light on this by asking the reader to it view from a different perspective. If things are unsettling and jarring when they happen to men, why do we barely bat an eyelid when they happen to women? It’s an interesting experiment, well written and full of humour.

Nailing Jess by Triona Scully

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Notes from a coffee shop

Notes from a coffee shop

I’m in a funk, have been for a while. It’s annoying, but it’ll pass. Here’s the thing about living with a mental illness though, it makes being in a funk stressful. The second guessing, the over-thinking, the ever watchful eye checking to see if my mood has turned into something other than a run of the mill funk. When is a funk no longer a funk? At what point do I really get concerned that this is an episode of depression or the beginning of a hypomanic phase? I often lack motivation before I’m suddenly full of the stuff, in the worst possible way. It has taken work, but I’m pretty in tube with my mental health and this doesn’t feel like anything than a funk. Yet, the thought is still there. This is why having a mental illness is exhausting, even when you are well you’re on the lookout for signs that you might not be. This is just a funk, I know that, but I wish it would bugger off.

5 questions with Tiffany McDaniel

The Summer that Melted Everything by Tiffany McDaniel. Advance Reader Copy (eARC) from the author included. No affiliate links used. You can read my full disclosure policy here.

The Summer That Melted Everything by Tiffany McDaniel (UK)
Cover of the UK edition

The Summer that Melted Everything is an incredible piece of literary fiction. That it is a debut novel makes it even more so. Tiffany McDaniel’s writing is evocative, complex and full of confidence.

The summer of 1984 brings an intense heat wave to Breathed, Ohio. It also brings the devil. Things will never be the same again. Fielding Bliss has never forgotten that summer and it is through his eyes that we learn what happened. The novel alternates between 1984 and an unspecified year in the future.

The Summer that Melted Everything is a thought-provoking novel that deals with religion, racism, homophobia and mob mentality amongst other things. My words cannot do it justice, but it’s a novel I’ll be recommending for a long time to come. Seriously, you need to read it.

Thanks to Tiffany for taking the time to answer my questions.

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