ASH by Alys Einion
Author of Inshallah: ‘by turns gripping, provoking and vividly sensory’ Tiffany Atkinson
Amanda ran from an abusive marriage in Saudi Arabia with her four sons and infant daughter, Aisha. She found sanctuary at Blossom House – in the loving embrace of a community of women. But always at the back of her mind was the fear that Muhammed would come for his children.
Ash has grown-up feeling lost and out of place, left to her own devices by her damaged mother, abandoned to the lure of paint and canvas. She has few friends until she comes upon a group of Islamic women who promise empowerment and a mission in life – which has to be better than sacrificing herself to the twin goddesses of anorexia and social acceptance.
THE VEGETARIAN TIGERS OF PARADISE by Crystal Jeans
Sometimes Crissy's mum is her best friend, sometimes a woman to be frightened of. A diet of Hammer horror and cake mix has hardened her heart and her arteries and even Jehovah can't bring her into line. She's never going to be like other mums. One misstep and Crissy is ordered to pack her bags: she's off to live with Freddy Krueger on the other side of the woods...
The Vegetarian Tigers of Paradise is a heart-warming, occasionally scabrous insight into growing up wild in the 1990s when your family didn't quite fit in.
"Fresh, witty, caustic and clever, Crystal Jeans' debut novel is the lesbian coming-of-age story that we have been waiting for." Sita Balani, Diva Magazine
SHORTLISTED FOR THE POLARI FIRST BOOK AWARD 2017
(awarded annually to a writer whose first book explores the LGBT experience)
JILL by Amy Dillwyn
Jill is the story of an unconventional heroine - a gentlewoman who disguises herself as a maid and runs away to London in search of adventure after her mother dies and her father is pursued by a Victorian gold-digger. Once in London she uses her position as lady’s maid to become close to her mistress. Her life above and below stairs is portrayed with irreverent wit in this fast-paced story, but at the centre of the novel is Jill's unfolding love for the woman she works for. On the surface a feminist manifesto, Jill is a poignant story of same-sex desire and unrequited love. A new introduction tells the autobiographical story on which the novel is based - the author's own passionate attachment to a woman she called her wife, but who she couldn't have.
"Writing against the patriarchal assumption that two women could only set up home together as a last resort, her novels validate lesbian love as a desirable alternative to marriage and family duties. In her novels, she turned to literary codes which emphasised a challenge [to the social order - her characters cross boundaries of gender, class and the law - in order to depict a same-sex desire that she wanted to be paramount, not a last resort." Kirsti Bohata, Diva Magazine