published: 26th May 2022
Would you entrust your life choices to someone hell-bent on avoiding theirs?
Natasha has everything under control, at least that’s what her clients think. As a therapist, she has all the answers but when it comes to her personal life, she seriously needs to start taking her own advice.
Still living with her ex-girlfriend, Natasha’s messy love life is made up of dates and one-night stands. After all, why would you commit to one person, when there is an endless stream of people waiting for you to swipe right? Besides, people always leave.
But when Margot arrives on the scene, everything changes. Flailing between mending long-broken relationships and starting new ones, Natasha’s walking the line between self-actualisation and self-destruction… With denial no longer an option, it is time for Natasha to take control of her own happiness.
Galley provided by publisher
Laura Kay is the queen of messy lesbians. First The Split, and now Tell Me Everything. These are books where lesbian characters are allowed to screw up, allowed to be, yes, messy, and aren’t at all demonised for it.
In this one, we follow Natasha, a therapist, who everyone thinks has her life together in the way she keeps telling her clients to have. Only, surprise, surprise, she doesn’t. She lives with her ex-girlfriend, she goes on dates, but never has a stable relationship, and, deep down, she has some unresolved issues regarding her father.
Tell Me Everything is a book in the vein of Mhairi McFarlane (one of my favourite authors), I think. It’s a contemporary with a romance wound in—the romance isn’t hugely central, because the book is about Natasha’s character development, but it’s there still. To be honest, that’s my favourite sort of contemporary novel. One where there’s a quiet romance alongside the main plot.
Central to this is how vibrant the characters are, not just Natasha but the surrounding cast as well. Each of them leaps off the page—there are a number of them that I’d actually like to see have their own books and plots (as unlikely as that is). And that’s the best kind of book, where it’s not only the protagonist who is fully fleshed out, but everyone else.
When it comes to the plot here too, those characters are at the heart of it, in particular the families, both biological and found. Natasha doesn’t have a close relationship with most of her biological family (which is, in part, what this book is about), but she has close ones with friends, who form a family of their own. And those relationships, like the characters, are vibrant and believable. And also ones you want to root for.
So, if you’re looking for a book to end your May/start your June right, then let it be this one.