London Undone by Nan Higgins

London Undone is a debut novel, and a very good one at that.

What was the book about?
London wasn’t prepared for her girlfriend of six years to propose to her in the most public way. She wasn’t prepared for her to propose at all, seeing as London thought she’d made it very clear marriage wasn’t for her. So she didn’t say yes, and her girlfriend left, needing some space to get over the humiliation (doing private stuff in public will do that to you) and rethink her dreams. As if the whole girlfriend disaster wasn’t enough, London gets a phone call from her twin sister telling her their mother has died. As much as she feels she’s fresh out of grief following almost two decades of being estranged from a family who couldn’t deal with her being gay, London takes the trip back home, the funeral and the very weird conditions of her mother’s will rather hard. Then sometimes even worse happens. I’m not sure anything worse could happen, to be honest (TW: hate crime, transphobia).

Featured Tropes:  Miscommunication, Homophobic family, Transphobia, Friendships…

Book Strengths:
This novel is very well-written, which isn’t always the case with debuts, so it’s always a very pleasant surprise. The characters are layered and flawed, and I really liked the way London grows throughout the story, how she learns to see situations that seemed very black and white from others’ perspective.

Another important point is how diverse the characters are. One of the most important characters is Black, and at least two very important secondary ones are transgender.

While it might not be a romance strictly speaking, there’s a lot of love, in very diverse forms, in this story and that love more than balances the hate the characters encounter.

Book Weaknesses:
The author seems to have crammed quite a lot of things in just one story, and while it works, I at first wondered whether I really wanted to keep reading if everything happening was so awful. But it was well-written, and I kept going, and I’m glad I did, it was really worth holding on. 

Character Chemistry: 
This novel is not a traditional romance in that London and Reggie have been a couple for six years when we first meet them, and they spend most of the book on a break from each other. The whole arc between them (which is not really the main story) is about whether they’ll get back together, and if they do, how. The love between them is obvious, but love isn’t always enough for a relationship to work.

Heat Rating: 3

Wrap up:
London Undone is not as light as the blurb would have you think. It’s actually really sad before it gets really heartwarming and full of love and hope.

Star Rating: 4

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