Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Wish on the Water by Eve Francis (#romance #genderqueer #bisexual)

Wish on the Water is a lighthearted romance that allows true love to blossom early on, and uses that love to explore questions of identity and sexuality. Eve Francis writes a fun, quick-moving romance with a cast of likable characters. There is no real tension here, but that is entirely okay, because the deeper issues are far more interesting than the usual genre clich├ęs.

Our two lovers are a wonderfully diverse pair, a single mother and a single parent-to-be. Whitney is happily bisexual, a fact of which her ex-husband was aware, and open to love in whatever form it finds her. After exploring a transgender identity, Chantal has ultimately self-defined as genderqueer, comfortable with pronouns of she/her, but uncomfortable with the labels of female, woman, or mother. Theirs is a chance meeting at the nail salon where Chantal works, a friendship that starts with some parental bonding, but very quickly moves into the realm of mutual attraction.

Like I said earlier, there is no real tension here, and that is surprisingly refreshing. Whitney's family and friends are immediately accepting of Chantal's genderqueer identity, just as they are supportive of Whitney's daughter's sexuality. Similarly, Chantal's friends and customers at the nail salon are accepting of her gender, with the only uncomfortable moments coming in the same kind of intrusive pregnancy questions that any parent faces.

The only flaw in the story, for me, was the footwear tease. There is a very strong suggestion early on that the pink rain boots of Whitney's daughter and the green sandals of Chantal are somewhat magical, but that element is just dropped, with no resolution. It is a small complaint, though, and more than made up for by Wish on the Water's wonderful diversity of bisexual genderqueer romance.

Eve Francis’s short stories have appeared in Wilde Magazine, The Fieldstone Review, Iris New Fiction, MicroHorror, and The Human Echoes Podcast. Romance and horror are her favourite genres to write in because everyone has felt love or fear in some form or another. She lives in Canada, where she often sleeps late, spends too much time online, and repeatedly watches old horror movies and Orange Is The New Black.


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