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Review of Gender Theory by Madeline Docherty

Told in the second person, this dizzying, dazzling debut explores what it’s like being a young woman finding herself through her sexuality, body and friendships. Ella is her best friend who shines, yet she can’t help but see Ella in a romantic light. While navigating messy, chaotic relationships, she is battling her own body with a diagnosis of endometriosis. Not listening to her body leads to more pain. After graduation she flits between places, living with Ella then being dragged away by new romances which eventually fizzle out. 

With such an intimate point of view, the writing is all consuming, so full of emotion and yearning that it wraps you up in a whirlwind and thunders through you. What a force of a book! It was striking and tender in how it portrayed love, illness and acceptance. 

Don’t let this coming-of-age novel pass you by if you love narratives about female friendship, self-identity and figuring out what you want to do with your life. An absolute must for fans of Susannah Dickey and Jessica Andrews.

Review by Victoria.

Gender Theory was published on 06/06/24 by John Murray Press.



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