Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Lost and Found by J. Holland (#fantasy #lesbian #asexual)

Lost and Found by J. Holland was a wonderful little story, a sweetly romantic fairy tale that really opened my eyes to the beauty of being asexual, and yet wonderfully romantic.

Nerissa is a selkie who, having grown up on her grandmother's stories, is fascinated with humans. So much so, in fact, that she has taken a part-time job at the library in order to earn enough money to buy herself sweets, clothes, and other human conveniences. Lorelei is a human whose fascination is with the sweets of her bakery, leaving her with a few extra pounds and some sadly all-too-familiar body image issues.

The relationship between these two women is delightful, a true case of love-at-first-sight. Despite her initial attraction, Lorelei only invites Nerissa into her home as an act of well-meaning charity, never knowing that her beach discover is the reason the young woman cannot go home. The two form an almost immediate bond, even as Nerissa's innocent desire for a warm embrace tests Lorelei's restraint.

What makes this story work is Lorelei's acceptance of her lover's asexual nature. Never once does she try to pressure her or make her feel guilty for how she demonstrates her affections. Should Nerissa ever feel ready, she would be eager to take their love to a different place, but she is very much okay with that never happening. Instead, they sleep in each other's arms, watch TV in each other's arms, and share loving embraces wherever and whenever they can. At the same time, while she may be asexual, Nerissa does a wonderful job of helping Lorelei with her body image, making her understand just how beautiful she is, and allowing her to see the strength and the power beneath those extra pounds.

Like any fairy tale, Lost and Found does have a happy ending, but only after their love is tested. For such a short tale, I was surprised at how emotionally invested I became. These are wonderful characters in a unique story that never bows to convention, and never betrays their identities. I loved it.

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