BBAW: Read This So We Can Talk About It

Here’s the thing. I only had to spend about twenty-six seconds deciding which book to write about for today’s BBAW topic. I fell in love with Bottle Rocket Hearts by Zoe Whittall  in a cartoonish, heart pumping out of my chest, hearts for pupils, birds singing and muskrats dancing* kind of way.  And if I hadn’t been familiar with the author and ordered the novel from Amazon, I would have passed this book by because I always go by the blurb on the back of the book and this blurb is just not directed at me.

In the year before the 1995 Referendum in Quebec, Eve wants nothing more than to move out of the bedroom community of Dorval and in the real city, Montreal,  where she hopes to meet a girl who’ll want to kiss her back.

Except Eve already has a girlfriend at the beginning of the novel, who kisses her just fine thank you very much. Bottle Rocket Hearts is a coming of age tale, yes, but it’s not a coming out story. AND it managed to make Canadian history interesting to me, a U.S.-ian, which is no small feat! (I kid, I kid.)

Bottle Rocket Hearts is the closest I’ve come to finding my ideal lesbian novel.  It’s about friendship and identity and figuring out what bad relationships look like and getting yourself out of them and finding your people and loving yourself.

I love it and I wish it was more widely read.

The problem with true stories is they always end in loss. Sometimes the difference between fiction and non is almost arbitrary. They both ask: who are we? — p. 150

An Amazon link because the IndieBound one only has a picture.

*Muskrats, sure. That happens right?


Filed under Book Blogger Appreciation Week

36 responses to “BBAW: Read This So We Can Talk About It

  1. Amy gave me this while I was in Canada, so count me as one more person who will read it so we can talk about it.

  2. Meg

    Great pulled quote, and sounds like a very compelling story! I haven’t read much Canadian literature, I’m sorry to say. Perhaps I’ll changing that in the coming year.

  3. I’ve never heard of it and love discovering little known books…definitely going to check it out. Thanks for the recommendation! :)

  4. This really sounds good! I will check it out. Thanks!!

    BBAW: Time to read Feynman

  5. Added to my wish list!

    Have you read Zami: A New Spelling of My Name by Audre Lord or Memory Mambo by Achy Obejas? I think they are both fantastic examples of quality Lesbian literature.

    Also – I’m hosting an LGBT Reading Event next month, for LGBT History Month (“The Literary Others”)… thought you & your readers might be interested!

  6. This sounds great! I will look for this when I am out book shopping!

  7. Literary Feline

    I can see why the blurb wouldn’t be enough to entice you, but from your description, this sounds like one worthy of checking out. Going to look for it now!

  8. Thanks for mentioning this! I hadn’t heard of it, but now I want to hunt it down.

  9. omg that quote! You’ve sold me!

  10. This entire day has been finding new, awesome books.

    Hope everyone is/had fun.

    Silver’s Reviews

  11. chrisbookarama

    I’ve heard of this book but I don’t know if I even knew what it was about! (And I’m Canadian. Shameful.) Thanks for featuring it!

  12. That is a wonderful quote, and I can’t resist reading the book that’s the closest you’ve come to an ideal lesbian novel. :-) If off to see how much it’ll cost to get my hands on a copy.

  13. You’re right, based on the blurb I would have passed this one by. The 1995 Referendum in Quebec, you say? How totally not interesting to 98% of the population. :p Honestly, what were they thinking?

  14. Well, a lesbian coming of age, that will make a fun change! Thanks for recommending it, it’s going on my wishlist!

  15. Sarah

    I read this last year after finding it at the library – the blurb totally caught my eye, as I live in Quebec! (I moved here in 1999 though, so I wasn’t here for the referendum.) This book blew my mind away, honestly. It’s one of the few books to get the distinction of going from my “I should read this” list to my “I need to buy my own copy so I can read it again” list.

    • Actually I was interested in the Quebec part, I promise! Just not the whole “find a girl who wants to kiss her back” stuff. Just, ugh. Glad you loved it as much as I did!

  16. Surely, it must.

    Onto the list this goes!

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