It is an important book. Not just for broadening one’s horizons, but also as a historical document. This book was (and still is) very important to the canon of queer and trans literature. For that reason alone, it should be read by anyone who wants a decent working knowledge of queer/trans history.
As is common in the genre of romance (and in YA) there is not a lot of character development but there is a fair bit of personal drama and angst. And while the characters are interesting and their fashion senses are extremely on point, I will say that I wanted more.
I would recommend it to anyone who wants a ghost story fairy tale about magical woods and literary levels of how society treats outsiders. It isn’t overly spooky, but the prose is beautiful, the magic was folkloreesque, the ending satisfying, and bonus… a lesbian couple!
If the description of “beautifully written queer retelling of a classic but feminist and from a reimagined and now nonwhite side character” piques your interest, I think you will definitely enjoy this book.
Short story collections tend to be a mix of protagonists and situations that sometimes center around a theme. Such is the case of Rainbow, Rainbow by Lydia Conklin. Her theme is broad “the lesser-known stories of the LGBTQIA experience” and she does a masterful job of telling these stories with gut-wrenching prose.
Book Of The Month recommended it to me with the tagline “This novel has the perfect molecular structure: a charming protagonist, humor, a lovable dog, and feminist bonafides.” And… yes. 1000% yes.
For the beach, for a plane, for something to read while sitting in the hammock sipping a diet coke… yes. This book isn’t going to change your life or be on any best-of lists. But it does exactly what a short summer read should do: tell a simple engaging story quickly and with very little fuss or muss
An easy light read tailor-made for the beach with the obvious happy ending, but it took too long to get to the resolutions, relied too much on clunky dialogue, and did more telling than showing. Still, enjoyable for what it is: an easy light read tailor-made for the beach.
This beautifully written novel is about what is wild and what we should fear. In the hands of a less skilled author, the connective tissue between the multiple plot lines would have been stretched too thin or been too tenuous to hold together. McConaghy, however, does a wonderful job of bringing her themes through all the various plot points and builds connections around them. What is wild vs civilized? How does the struggle between the two inform and reflect in our sense of family, community, fear of the unknown, and the question of how far we will go to protect what we hold dear?
I found it disjointed, long, confusing, and a bit cringe. The story is interesting but it gets really lost in the weeds. The devices of the double past and the withholding of information from the protagonist/audience wear really thin. The resolution is not quite worthy of the build-up.