Coherent But I am not sure I ll be able to do that for this book because eventually I stopped thinking about how to describe it to another reader and just enjoyed it for my own self So sorry other readers all I ve got for you today is just how much I fucking loved this bookI am I admit biased Biased twice over really First I am a divorced cis woman which means this book is dedicated to me Not me personally just us as a group And I get it I love divorced cis women not all of them but there s a definite set of ualities you tend to find in us that I gravitate towards Divorce isn t the only way to get there as Peters notes but it is one of the most common ways in which the entire system you ve been operating under disappears and you have to build your own new way of living in the world Peters sees transition as something similar and I think she s right I ve also found it with other people like me who grew up very religious There is a certain cynical hardiness we all have that covers a deep awareness of our own vulnerability When you are this ind of person and you find another one there is an immediate inship And that is how I felt reading this book too That I d found my people in a ind of way Second I m a ueer person reading this book and I would bet an awful lot of money that it will read very differently to straight by which I mean non ueer audiences This is the way we talk to each other This is the messiness we reveal to each other These are our fights and philosophical disagreements and tactics There is no performance of normalcy for straight eyes no need to put on our best rainbow colors no need to worry about how we are read by people passing by Every time I opened this book I relaxed a little The focus is on white trans women but any time I see a ueer community depicted honestly it is just like seeing another branch of my family tree And that is really what I have to say about this book Because outside of those feelings I just sat back and relaxed and had fun For other ueer folks you either immediately read the title as a joke or a threat which tracks for the book as a whole It is not afraid to push at these things it can t be with a detransitioned person as one of its central characters If that worries you it worried me don t worry As we dive into AmyAmes s detransition it is a sympathetic portrait but one with a very definite point of view This person is still a trans woman no matter how they present themselves to the world and the choice to detransition here is how it generally goes in real life that it happens out of fear rather than a feelin. Became Ames and everything fell apart Now Reese is caught in a self destructive pattern avoiding her loneliness by sleeping with married menAmes isn't happy either He thought detransitioning to live as a man would make life easier but that decision cost him his relationship with Reese and losing her meant losing his only family Even though their romance is over he longs to find a way back to her When Ames's boss and lover Katrina reveals that she's pregnant with his baby and that she's not sure.
There is no other book I am looking forward to with anticipation than Torrey Peters first full length novel It s been a long two years since her last self published novella Glamour Boutiue and I am positively yearning for of her painfully apt insights Destransition Baby is the best book about womanhood and gender that I ve ever read not just in its incredible portrayal of the messy complexity of trans experience but in the way that it manages to delve into how gender operates throughout race and class cis and trans alike There s so much brilliance here in the three women and a potential baby plot one cis one trans one now a man again and so much about it that made me feel so seen in the way that someone says the words that have always been at the tip of your tongue about how we try and fail and sometimes do make and unmake our families our communities and ourselves There is so much here the profoundly straight dressup of essential oils parties the fond memories of the days when your body simply disassociated so you didn t feel overwhelmed by painful emotions the experience of role playing getting nocked up by your HIV cowboy the reframing of celebrities on the runway as a sort of sissification for cis woman and the simple erotics of going to pick out items with your mom crush for the baby registry It made me laugh and cry and ache in the way only the best books can and it opened windows that I ve never been able to really see through beforeTorrey Peters has been one of my favorite authors since I discovered her freepay what you can self published novellas in the wonderful movement of trans authors providing their work to trans readers for free In this novel all the themes of her earlier work has taken full shape the painful beauty of t4t friendship and love in the trans dystopia of Infect Your Friends and Loved Ones the allure of fantasy over much harder reality in The Masker and the pure repressed desire of Glamour Boutiue whose main characters would become a part of this finished product I was so happy when this project was picked up by OneWorld and I am thrilled to see her work reach the audience it deservesI managed to nab an advanced reader ebook but I pre ordered my physical copy before I finished you would all be giving yourselves a lovely gift by doing the same 45 stars Often when I m reading I am already thinking about how a book is making me feel about how I would describe it to someone Basically I m already formulating my review in my head Then I ll sit down at my computer as I am right now to form these thoughts into something fuller and. A whipsmart debut about three women transgender and cisgender whose lives collide after an unexpected pregnancy forces them to confront their deepest desires around gender motherhood and sexReese almost had it all a loving relationship with Amy an apartment in New York City a job she didn't hate She had scraped together what previous generations of trans women could only dream of a life of mundane bourgeois comforts The only thing missing was a child But then her girlfriend Amy detransitioned and.
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G that it was a mistake This is a book with a strong point of view about ueer and trans life especially how they are for people of a certain age at a certain time And that point of view includes the messy stuff The toxic relationships the mindfuck of gender performance the creeps and chasers and the funerals Peters doesn t hang you out to dry here she tells you exactly how this works it is a cultural explainer at times but it never feels like one Because you are so deeply attached to Reese and Ames that you welcome the insights they have towards themselves and the world around them What could be wonderful than spending time with some ueer folks who are self aware enough to understand how messed up their choices are It is wonderful and it s also terrible I cried a lot I won t lie The pain of transition the many cuts trans women experience every single day both internally and externally are not the main subject here but Peters makes no attempt to hide them She integrates them into Reese and Amy s lives because that is simply how it is She lets them mourn and grieve and suffer because it is impossible not to in this moment in this world But I wouldn t put this in the pile of books where I generally put in a ueer Suffering warning I save that for the ones where the suffering is The Point and that s not it here Here we are wrapped up in the suffering and the melodrama and the wit and the een clawing instinct to surviveAnd now I feel silly that it s taken me this many paragraphs to tell you how funny this book is how much I laughed Apologies Anyway There are paragraphs here than I anticipated But I suspect it is still just a pile of feelings that I ve thrown at you and I m not going to apologize that because I enjoyed it all so very very much I suspect reviews will use words like bold or brave because that is often what happens when marginalized people write honestly about their own experiences It is certainly a book that is not afraid and it wants you to Divertimento know that It looks you right in the eye and dares you to contradict it I have mixed feelings about this novel It is chaotic well written deeply gorgeously ueer messy sexy and it probes really interesting uestions about womanhood motherhood fatherhood ueer parenting the relationships we make and break Some of the storytelling was too indulgent is maybe the word I m looking for like when you re in the groove as a writer loving what you re writing digging down into it and you don tnow where to stop But that s okayThe title is masterful This is one of those books I suspect will be polarizing but I enjoyed it. Whether she wants to Love Is a Fairy Tale keep it Ames wonders if this is the chance he's been waiting for Could the three of them form someind of unconventional family and raise the baby togetherThis provocative debut is about what happens at the emotional messy vulnerable corners of womanhood that platitudes and good intentions can't reach Torrey Peters brilliantly and fearlessly navigates the most dangerous taboos around gender sex and relationships gifting us a thrillingly original witty and deeply moving novel.
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Torrey Peters is the author of the novellas The Masker Infect Your Friends and Loved Ones and Glamour Boutiue Her first novel Detransition Baby will be published by One WorldRandom House in January 2021