Rating: 4.5 stars Genre: Literary, Historical Fiction Summary: When Ada fails to conceive a child with her new husband, she becomes increasingly desperate. Barren women in her village are often hanged as witches. Fearing that she is cursed, neighbours start refusing to let her attend their births, meaning she can no longer put her expertise as a midwife to use. Frustrated and afraid, Ada runs away to find refuge with a band of outlaws and their charismatic leader known only as the Kid. In this makeshift and marginalised family, women like Ada are finding power beyond the status of their wombs - and taking revenge on the society that has rejected them.
Maurice Hall appears to be the prototype of the English gentleman - educated at a prestigious school, he will inevitably go on to study at Cambridge then take his place alongside London's wealthy financiers. Yet when he falls in love with a fellow male student at Cambridge, Maurice feels the ground of convention pulled from beneath his feet. He is forced to make an agonising decision: betray his true self in exchange for a place in polite society, or risk turning his back on this safe and familiar world to live authentically.
Rating: 4 stars Genre: Non-fiction Summary: Feeling a debt of gratitude to his queer community's elders, and determined not to let their stories be lost to history, Mason Funk established Outwords, a charity dedicated to travelling the length and breadth of America to interview LGBT+ elders. From swanky offices to rural snowstorms, the Outwords team seek queer stories wherever they can find them, determined to record as many of the movement's perspectives as possible. The result is The Book of Pride, a collection of interviews with LGBT+ pioneers, including John S. James (HIV treatment campaigner), Diana Rivers (author and women's rights activist) and Miss Major Griffin-Gracy (trans community leader).
Rating: 3 stars
Synopsis: We're living in a time when it can feel like we're on completely different planets from some of the people we encounter - from bigoted grandparents to politicians on the news. In Talking Across the Divide, Justin Lee provides practical advice on bridging this seemingly uncrossable chasm.
It's time to have some difficult but meaningful conversations, and maybe even make the world a little better in the process.
Rating: 5 stars Category: Literary fiction Synopsis: In Girl, Woman, Other, Bernardine Evaristo intertwines twelve lives - mostly black, British women. Their voices range from Hattie, an ancient mixed-race grandma struggling to keep her family farm and her pride along with it, to Amma, a black lesbian playwright whose radical work is showing at the National Theatre for the first time. Through this lively spectrum of characters, Evaristo explores the nuances of identity, connection, and what it means to be proud of who you are.
Rating: 4 stars
Synopsis: Sarah and her sister Ruth are among the first. The first black students to attend formerly all-white Jefferson High School. The first to endure protests by white students against integration. The first to read bitter articles in the school magazine denying them their right to be there.
When the author of these articles, Linda Hairston, steps between Ruth and a group of bullies, Sarah is one of the only witnesses. Both Sarah and Linda find something has changed in them, as everything they thought they knew about each other is overturned...
Zami is a Carriacou word that can be loosely translated to 'love between women'. It is difficult to imagine a more fitting title for Audre Lorde's memoir: a story of the pursuit of love. As a Black lesbian coming of age in 1940s/50s New York, she fights to belong in a world that unrelentingly seeks to push her to the margins.