In at the Deep End – Kate Davies – book review

I read this through the Pigeonhole, so it came in staves. It’s a great way of reading – slows me down a bit. It also means I’ll take a chance on a book I might not normally choose – like this one. I’m very glad I did. Kate Davies introduces us to Julia, who is in the process of discovering herself and her sexuality.

First of all, the sex. There is a lot of sex. A lot. However, while there’s a lot on the mechanics of it all, there’s also a whole range of emotional contexts to go with it – bored sex, happy sex, guilty sex, edgy sex. The sex is nuanced, and it feels like an integral part of the plot, and the character development.

If you took the sex out, though, you’d still have a good read. The characters feel real, the situations are believable, and while the first three quarters of the book are very much about the intensity of sexual relationships, they also hint at the other things we need to attend to to be satisfied with life – and towards the end, these are the things that blossom.

Is it a feminist book? I wondered while I read it – I mean, I wondered if you could have a lesbian romance that isn’t feminist. Certainly, in what is a fun read, Kate Davies manages to explore some interesting power dynamics, and look at power imbalances in relationships. The feminism is in realising that you have to rescue yourself. You might open yourself up to other people to achieve that, but you are seeking support, not rescue.
It’s also very funny. Snorty funny. And moving. And has the best therapist ever.
In at the Deep End

About sarahsouthwest

I'm now in my early 50s. I started writing again as a way of exploring the world, and feel that over the last 2 years I have really grown as a writer. By day I work with children and young people with mental health difficulties. I juggle my own two children, my work, my writing practice, generally managing to keep all the balls up in the air.
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