I read, or rather, devoured, Liv Little’s debut novel, ‘Rosewater’, (yes, DEBUT, mind-bogglingly, this is her first book?!), in a day, the first time I’ve got through a book so fast in ages. Gripped from the first page, the reference of ‘strictly no boys and no straights’, I was left feeling in awe of Little’s writing throughout. A beautiful queer love story showing all the messy, multifaceted sides of humanity but having just that, humanity, as an underlying theme throughout it all.
At times I wanted to laugh, at times I wanted to cry. But, all the time- a constant– I didn’t want the book to come to an end. And, that’s how I know it was GOOD, like, ‘good’ good.
Feeling as though I was a part of the story myself, I wanted to stay in ‘that’ version of the world, the world of Juliet and Elsie, to watch them flourish and grow with their love for each other, long past the final page. Is it weird to say that I’ll miss them- fictional characters turned… friends?
Upon reflection I’m led to think that, perhaps I found myself so enthralled by the book because I recognised lots of parallels between Elsie, the main character, and myself…
A twenty something poet whose family don’t ‘get it’, waiting for her to get a ‘real’ job. Because, writing doesn’t pay well, (or, in many cases, at all), unless you ‘make it.’ I might as well be unemployed for all they think.
The ‘messy’ feelings- fear of commitment? Of wanting something, getting that ‘thing’, no longer wanting it, no longer being able to have it even if I did want it, wanting it again. It’s that classic of ‘always wanting the thing you can’t have’, a constant state of ‘push or pull’- a disorganised attachment style- conflicting emotions (lots of them).
And, of course, lots of parallels in terms of the whole experience of being a queer British woman…
I can’t believe that this was Little’s first ever novel, the mind boggles, seriously. I loved everything about Rosewater…
The messy, complex characters, the poetry (when Liv Little and Kai-Isaiah Jamal come together, you know it’s gonna be good), the whole gorgeous plot, and, I shall wait with eager anticipation for the release of her next literary masterpiece (and, of course, Rosewater the hit series- a TV adaptation- it would make for THE best viewing).
So, Liv, for capturing queer love so tenderly in 328 pages of pure and unrivalled storytelling,
for making so many people feel ‘seen’,
for being the incredible you.
‘Liv’/’Legend’- same difference,
! To buy Rosewater and see (/read) all the hype for yourself !
Paperback Edition (out April 2024): https://www.amazon.co.uk/Rosewater-debut-novel-Liv-Little/dp/1408717069/ref=tmm_pap_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&qid=&sr=