Monday, August 6, 2018

CisterWife by Jessica Mandella (#transgender #lesbian #romance)

If you have not yet read Jessica Mandella, then you are in for an interesting experience. She writes in a genre of her own, a metaphysical sort of transgender erotic romance. I honestly was not sure it would be for me, but after talking with her at length, I understood what she was aiming for, and I have loved every book.

That brings me to CisterWife, a coming-out tale that she recommended to me, and which I loved. This is really two books in one, a story that transitions at the midpoint - from identity to expression - closing the loop like a certain symbolic gold band.

The first half is a painful story of coming out, broken relationships, misunderstandings, and the legacy of abuse, with more than one scene that brought me to tears. Ellie identifies as a transgender lesbian, even if she still looks like a man, a fact that has turned husband and wife into platonic best friends, and which keeps a new crush at arm's length. It is a powerfully stuff.

The second half is an altogether lovely story of romance, healing, and erotic discovery that turns those tears into smiles. It explores a three-way poly-amorous relationship, the exploration of bisexuality, an entirely unorthodox celebration of faith, and some pretty high-tech scientific innovation to enable it all. It makes for a wild ride, one where you cannot guess what is coming next, and it is a delight.

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