From the award-winning author Robin Talley comes an inspiring new novel about the power of love to fight prejudice and hate.
Two women connected across generations through the power of words.
In 1955 eighteen-year-old Janet Jones must keep the love she shares with her best friend a secret. As in the age of McCarthyism to be gay is to sin. But when Janet discovers a series of books about women falling in love with other women, it awakens something in her. As she juggles a romance she must keep hidden and a new-found ambition to write and publish her own story, she risks exposing herself – and Marie – to a danger all too real.
Sixty-two years later, Abby Cohen can’t stop thinking about her senior project – classic 1950s lesbian pulp fiction. She feels especially connected to one author, ‘Marian Love’, and becomes determined to track her down and discover her true identity. Is Abby prepared for what she will find?
A stunning story of bravery, love, how far we’ve come and how much farther we have to go.
‘absolutely loved it – romantic and funny and gripping and just generally excellent!’ Tom Ellen, author of Freshers
‘touching, clever and absolutely hilarious’ The Herald
‘I really loved the book… it was just a lovely, refreshing read for me, and I’m so glad there are authors like Robin Talley out there.’ Bookseller
‘One of the most interesting and informative LGBT books I've read recently!’ Reader
‘I read it in one sitting!’ NetGalley reviewer
‘a must-read for anyone interested in LGBTQ+ history’ NetGalley reviewer
‘a very timely novel’ NetGalley reviewer
About the author
Robin Talley is the New York Times bestselling author of the highly acclaimed novels Pulp, Our Own Private Universe, As I Descended, What We Left Behind and Lies We Tell Ourselves. Her books have won accolades including the Amnesty CILIP Honour and have also been shortlisted for the CILIP Carnegie Medal.
She worked in digital communications for LGBTQ rights, women’s rights, educational equity, and other progressive causes for fifteen years before she turned to writing full-time. Robin lives in Washington, DC with her wife and their daughter. You can find her online at www.robintalley.com or on Twitter @robin_talley.
In 1955, aspiring author Janet, a sheltered teen living in Washington, D.C., has no words for what she feels for her best friend, Marie, and she's living through the Lavender Scare that forced LGBTQ people out of government jobs. When she finds a lesbian novel at a bus station, she's inspired to write one herself. Sixty-two years later, high school senior Abby lives in the same city; her love life is hard because her girlfriend dumped her, not because anyone disapproves. Abby has long written fan fiction, and when she discovers lesbian pulp novels from the 1950s and early '60s, she's enthralled and sets out to examine the genre. The books are rule-bound the women must straighten out or die tragically but one tells a love story that Abby can't stop thinking about, particularly because she's trying to understand whether love can last. Talley (Our Own Private Universe) toggles effectively between excerpts from Janet's book, the two women's lives, and Abby's research as the stories draw together. Though secondary characters feel underdrawn, the tale is original and delivers some interesting LGBTQ history, and the tone of the novels within it is pleasantly pulpy. Ages 12 up.)