Thursday, May 3, 2012

REVIEW: Pearl by Kelly Rand

As the first Trans* title to be offered by Storm Moon Press, Kelly Rand's Pearl is a story that I was really excited to read. What Kelly has offered up is a thoughtful, romantic, deliciously (and deliberately) dated tale of love between an innocent small-town Canadian woman and the handsome young man who wanders into town.

This is not just a tale that's conveniently set in the 1920s for the purposes of atmosphere, but one that makes careful use of small-town sexual repression to explore the consequences of such a taboo relationship. It looks, sounds, and feels authentic on every page, with just the right narrative tone and language to bring Edith and Clark alive.

The fact that Clark is a transman is integral to the story, and the details of his gender are just as significant as they are sympathetic. I loved the way in which we drew Edith out of her shell, exposing her to the greater word and all it has to offer. Their love is sudden, frantic, and overwhelming - it's not the slowburn kind of romance you'd expect from the time period, which adds a sense of danger to the delight surrounding their spontaneity.

Just an overall great story, the kind of romance that leaves you with a contended smile upon your face. Hopefully SMP will continue to delve into the Trans* shelves and bring us more stories like this.

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