Desert Isle Keeper
Let's Talk About Love
One of my students recently asked me for some reading on asexuality – she’s thinking it’s a label she may want to own, and wanted to know if I could recommend some fiction books to help her understand it better. I couldn’t, so I headed to the direct messages of some friends and asked for their best ace rep books. This is the first one that came back with a glowing endorsement from someone who is asexual, so I passed it on the recommendation, and ordered it from the library myself.
This is 100% one of the best empathy-building reads I’ve read in a hot minute.
I’m not asexual, but I know many people who fall somewhere on that spectrum and struggle to explain what it is and what it isn’t to people in their lives. Alice’s story of doing the same gives us the good, the bad, and the ugly of this process. She’s navigating parental expectations for her life outside her sexuality, shifting feelings within herself, a new friend which may threaten the dynamics of old friendships… in short, Alice is in college and all that entails.
I adored this book. Ms. Kann’s writing style is fresh, her idioms feel spot on, and her obviously extensive research shines. I loved that every character was messy, that none of them knew what they were doing (except the therapist), and that they all had learn to bend towards each other. I loved Alice’s first person PoV, so I could know what it felt like in her skin a little more than if we had an omniscient narrator.
I’m grateful for this story, which may sound ridiculous. However, a lot of Alice’s life is different than mine, and any time I get to spend in the well-crafted story of someone whose life has different rhythms than any I’ve experienced is a gift.