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Review of Rosewater by Liv Little

With the recent sad news of gal-dem, the magazine that championed people of colour from marginalised genders, closing its doors, this debut novel from the founder, Liv Little, comes at the end of an era. This was a beautiful read about a patient kind of love and about how important it is to have certain people to lean on when you're struggling.

The novel opens with protagonist, Elsie, being evicted and, soon after, losing her job as a bartender in a failing gay club. Essentially, everything in Elsie's life has come crashing down and she's forced to repair some broken relationships in order to accept the help and support she desperately needs. Whilst muddling through the complex relationship she has with her parents and trying her best to maintain her duties to her loving Nan, she must also confront the long-denied feelings she's harboured for her childhood friend, whose flat she now shares. 

Somewhat of a slow burn but worth it in the end for what becomes a really touching story of black queer love in all it's messiness and tenderness. I found myself really rooting for Elsie and I can't describe the ending as anything other than gorgeous. 

Review by Abi.

Rosewater was published on 20/04/23 by Dialogue Books.

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