by Torrey Peters
Wow what a book. So complex, insightful, thought-provoking, and well written. And yet, the core of the story is so simple and universal. The book features three characters and their journey of how to navigate life, love, relationships, sexuality, identity, and the decision of whether to become a parent, how, and with whom. Issues we all identify and struggle with.
There are two point-of-view characters: Reese and Ames, and another character seen through their perspective, Katrina. Reese is a transgender woman struggling with the breakup with Amy, dating all the wrong men, and yearning to be a mother. Ames was born a man, transitioned to a trans woman named Amy and was in a relationship with Reese, and then made the difficult decision to detransition back to a man, but still identifies as a trans woman in many ways. He is in a relationship with Katrina, a cisgender woman, who becomes pregnant with his baby. The three of them hatch a plan to consider the idea of co-parenting the baby together, and the story spends a lot of time showing you how that decision plays out in each of their minds. It is a fascinating study in relationships, what it means to be a parent, and how people struggle with roles and expectations, self-imposed ones and societal ones.
I particularly liked how the author made each character so unique, fearless, and unbelievably vulnerable at the same time. This book is a deep dive into trans women identity and the unique struggles of that community. It also covers detransition, a topic not well represented in fiction to my knowledge. I found it fascinating, raw, beautiful, sad and hopeful.