Have you ever argued with someone who quoted past conversations from say 6 years ago with startling clarity and then told you what each pregnant pause in that long-ago conversation really meant? Reading Frances’ mind was sort of like that. Frustrating, unreliable despite her best efforts to maintain the opposite, and unsettling.
I actually think that character building is where Mohanraj really shines. Yes, the world-building is interesting and complex (thankfully we are given the exact right bit of information so that we can follow along and care without getting overly bogged down), but it is the characters who will stay with me.
Being straight should not be the default assumption. It just… shouldn’t. BUT it is nice to be able to find wlw books when that is what you are hankering for. But aslo, this novel is far more complex and interesting than the label “lesbian novel” would imply. It is a novel that tells a coming of age story about a lesbain.