In Dykette, the scintillating first novel by Jenny Fran Davis, Sasha and her butch lover, Jesse, are on a holiday getaway with two other lesbian couples. Through casual mealtime conversation and sultry sauna sessions, this cozy retreat becomes a turning point in Sasha's relationships, with the others as well as herself, as she turns a critical gaze upon what is said and what is left unsaid in the icy woods of upstate New York.

While the others seem to relax easily into the rustic accommodations, Sasha is anything but calm. For her, every object carries significance, every desire is a performance, status is crucial, and drama simmers below every surface. In Sasha's thinking, these power lines hold the potential to jolt a fully fledged identity into existence, one that inspires the adoration she so desperately seeks. But instead of acting as conduits to a fulfilling relationship, dynamite sex life, and profound self-actualization, her talismans tangle her in a web of her own making.

Although Sasha is savvy and analytical, everything that can truly satisfy her appetites seems to hover just out of reach. Jesse reserves the pearl dildo for Sasha alone, but can be evasive about long-term commitments. Her crush on Jules Todd ushers her into the professional newscaster's elite orbit, but is their flirty sexual tension all in Sasha's head?

Davis carves a finely sculpted pantheon of lesbian archetypes to consider, all in orbit around Sasha's esteem for the bimbo, the minx, the dykette. Gossipy and uninhibited, Dykette burnishes the intrinsically queer question of how to cultivate a reliable sense of belonging. --Dave Wheeler, associate editor, Shelf Awareness

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