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
*Muskrats, sure. That happens right?