WINNER OF THE POLARI BOOK PRIZE 2020
SHORTLISTED FOR THE BOLLINGER EVERYMAN WODEHOUSE PRIZE 2019
‘Fleabag-level dirty jokes, Eleanor Oliphant-levels of empathy’ Grazia
‘Fresh and funny’ Guardian
‘Every woman should own a copy of this book’ Erin Kelly
Until recently, Julia hadn’t had sex in three years.
• a one-night stand is accusing her of breaking his penis;
• a sexually confident lesbian is making eyes at her over confrontational modern art;
• and she’s wondering whether trimming her pubes makes her a bad feminist.
Julia’s about to learn that she’s been looking for love – and satisfaction – in all the wrong places…
‘Frank, funny and fabulously filthy’ (Erin Kelly), In at the Deep End is a warm, brilliantly observed debut from a major new talent.
‘Without a doubt, In at the Deep End, by Kate Davies, is the afterparty book for anyone looking to extend their Fleabag fun. Newly published, Davies’ book is raucous, sexy, poignant and smart, and is definitely the most fun you will have with lesbian BDSM short of doing it yourself’ Hadley Freeman, Guardian
‘Brilliant! The best thing I’ve read in AGES. I can’t remember the last time a book made me laugh so hard, while also making me think about life, relationships and what makes us who we are’ Gill Sims, author of Why Mummy Drinks
‘A frank, very funny and, at times, filthy exploration of sex, love and self-understanding … brilliant’ Stylist
‘Fleabag-level dirty jokes, Eleanor Oliphant-levels of empathy and a heroine who feels like your best mate spilling the gossip after two glasses drunk a little too quickly. Fresh, funny and filthy’ Grazia
‘[A] fresh and funny lesbian coming-of-age adventure … a Sapphic sexual odyssey’ Guardian
‘Frank, funny and fabulously filthy, but also tender and moving. Every woman should own a copy of this book’ Erin Kelly, author of He Said/She Said
‘Utterly original, hilarious’ Francesca Simon, The Times
‘One of the funniest books I’ve read’ Red
‘Refreshing … brazen and hilarious’ Emma Jane Unsworth, Observer
‘I read In at the Deep End in a laughing (sometimes cringing) flash and then handed it to my wife who did the same. And then we talked and talked about it. (And then we made out.)’ Emily Danforth, author of The Miseducation of Cameron Post
‘I love this book! It's a wild sexual adventure that's funny and exciting and tender and real and chilling all at once. A joy to read’ Josie Long
About the author
Kate Davies was born and brought up in north-west London. She studied English at Oxford University before becoming a writer and editor of children’s books. She’s also a screenwriter, and had a short-lived career as a burlesque dancer that ended when she was booed off stage at a Conservative club while dressed as a bingo ball. Kate lives in east London with her wife. In at the Deep End is her first novel.
APPLE BOOKS REVIEW
Julia is stuck in a dead-end job and hasn’t had sex in three years. She’s lost. But after sleeping with another woman, she unexpectedly finds herself. London writer Kate Davies’ debut is a tale of sexual awakening full of heart and hilarity. We laughed—and sometimes cringed—at the downright dirty bedroom fiascos on her hunt for love. But this isn’t a novel just about sex. This is a compelling story of identity, friendship and the complexity of relationships and boundaries in your twenties.
Davies's not-quite-romantic debut showcases a good sense of comedic pacing, but undermines itself with a judgmental, distancing attitude and an unwillingness to lean into either a happy ending or a zanily catastrophic one. Three years into a sexual dry spell, civil servant Julia accepts an invitation to accompany the couple she lives with to a party. There, she has one last terrible hookup with a man, and then, after a single romantic encounter with a woman, dives into a lesbian identity. She soon meets Sam, a butch painter whose connection to the underground scene appeals to Julia, but their relationship is stressed by Julia's discomfort with Sam's penchant for BDSM, sex clubs, and nonmonogamy, particularly her ongoing involvement with her married French girlfriend, Virginie. Secondary characters, such as Julia's work buddies, her thoughtless "semi-amateur" therapist, and her parents, are mostly substanceless. Unquestioned, introspection-free positivity around Julia's instant lesbianism is coupled with strong negativity about well-negotiated polyamory, and the story arc ties nonmonogamy tightly to Sam's abusive behavior and the collapse of Sam and Julia's relationship. This story may arouse and amuse straight and monogamous readers looking for a window onto other lives, but queer and polyamorous readers are likely to be deeply unimpressed.
Customer ReviewsSee All
In at the deep end
I had wanted to read this book for a while after seeing it posted all over social media. Expecting it to be a lot funnier due to all the comments about it but I didn't find it that funny. Good story line about an abusive relationship and the signs to look for but not my kinda book.
Such a funny, open and honest book about relationships!