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Review of New Animal by Ella Baxter


Amelia loves her job as a beautician at her family's funeral home, but this is the only thing about herself that she is sure of. Elsewhere in her life, she seems a little lost, using sex to become something else: a new animal. When a member of her family dies, Amelia's unconventional coping mechanism spirals out of control and she finds herself fleeing to Tasmania where she quite literally throws herself into the local BDSM scene. It is here that Ella Baxter writes most beautifully about sex, grief, brutality, and tenderness. 


We witness Amelia self-destruct, watch her weigh herself down with other people's bodies and endure physical pain in attempt to quash mental angst. But then we see her step towards peace and, while Amelia is not fully healed by the end of the novel, Baxter gives a sense of metamorphosis. This is a book that feels profoundly human; heartbreaking and heartwarming in equal measure.


Review by Abi.

New Animals was published on 17/02/22 by Pan Macmillan.


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