In At The Deep End – Kate Davies

A fresh, funny, audacious debut novel about a Bridget Jones–like twenty-something who discovers that she may have simply been looking for love — and, ahem, pleasure — in all the wrong places (aka: from men)

Julia hasn’t had sex in three years. Her roommate has a boyfriend—and their sex noises are audible through the walls, maybe even throughout the neighborhood. Not to mention, she’s treading water in a dead-end job, her know-it-all therapist gives her advice she doesn’t ask for, and the men she is surrounded by are, to be polite, subpar. Enough is enough.

So when Julia gets invited to a warehouse party in a part of town where “trendy people who have lots of sex might go on a Friday night”—she readily accepts. Whom she meets there, however, is surprising: a conceptual artist, also a woman.

Julia’s sexual awakening begins; her new lesbian life, as she coins it, is exhilarating. She finds her tribe at queer swing dancing classes, and guided by her new lover Sam, she soon discovers London’s gay bars and BDSM clubs, and . . . the complexities of polyamory. Soon it becomes clear that Sam needs to call the shots, and Julia’s newfound liberation comes to bear a suspicious resemblance to entrapment . . .

In at the Deep End is an unforgettably frank, funny, and racy odyssey through the pitfalls and seductions we encounter on the treacherous—and more often, absurd—path to love and self.

Book Information: Print Length: 401 pages. Publisher: The Borough Press. Publication Date: 21 Feb 2019

IN AT THE DEEP END – Reading Group Choices

Kate Davies was born and brought up in north-west London.
She studied English at Oxford University before becoming a writer and editor of children’s books.

She’s also a screenwriter, and had a short-lived career as a burlesque dancer that ended when she was booed off stage at a Conservative club, dressed as a bingo ball. Kate lives in east London with her wife.

In At The Deep End is her debut novel.

My Review

Sometimes I need a change of genre from the dark crime and psychological thrillers and as IN AT THE DEEP END by Kate Davies has been sitting patiently on my kindle for ages it was time to switch it up.

This book was the winner of the Polari Book Prize in 2020 and shortlisted for the Bollinger Everyman Wodehouse Prize in 2019 and the reviews range from “Fleabag level dirty jokes” to “Frank, funny and fabulously filthy” which is exactly what I wanted from a book.

Julia is our potty-mouth, sex-starved, frank and hilarious narrator, who has only just realised she hasn’t had sex in three years, , although the clues could have been how many batteries she was going through for her vibrator and the fact she had to google penis to remember what one looked like.

Julia lives with her best friend Alice and Alice’s boyfriend and has spent every evening listening to their constant and noisy love-making, so she decides it’s time to get back on the horse and saddle up for some casual fun.

Unfortunately her first foray back into the world of casual hook-ups results in a one-night stand who thinks she’s broken his penis. Feeling disillusioned with “dick” Julia is approached by a woman at a friends party and that is the point that she embraces the “Lesbian Lifestyle”.

This is an real eye-opener (and in some places eye-watering) in to the LGBTQ+ lifestyle and Julia literally doesn’t hold back, from line dancing to BDSM clubs, IN AT THE DEEP END follows Julia as she meets and falls head over high heels in love with Sam, an artist with a reputation as a heart-breaker and the reader is taken on an emotional journey as Julia grows as a person, a best friend, a daughter, a co-worker and a lover.

If you don’t like reading about sex, then I am pretty sure this isn’t the book for you. But if you love filthy humour, laugh out loud situations, graphic sex with NO boundaries, then grab yourself a copy and enjoy.

A special mention to the hilarious chapter titles ranging from “Licking the Snail” to “A Salty Rim” and my favourite “Gimp Masks and Wagon Wheels” In the words of Julia “I hadn’t felt so good since the night I discovered fisting”.

Rude, Crude and Hilarious – 5 big fat slimy stars from me.

Rating: 5 out of 5.

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