A lesbian debut novel and a new narrator, both excellent surprises

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lesbian debut novel

A lesbian debut novel and a new narrator, both excellent surprises

Review of ‘Rough Around the Edges’ by Crystal Chard, audiobook narrated by Katheryn Siggers

Roxanne is working at a strip club in order to afford the comfortable home where her mother is living her last days. Roxie’s plans to become a writer fell apart with her mom’s diagnosis and she let go of her university dreams, despite the scholarship she had secured. But she’s not complaining and takes life as it comes. Meeting Josie, a lecturer at London University, changes everything. The attraction is instantaneous and mutual but while Josie is pretty open from the start, including on her hatred of lies, Roxie struggles with the secrets she keeps.

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I liked both main characters immediately. They have distinct voices and relatable personalities, they’re flawed and sweet at the same time. Roxie is brave yet somewhat broken and Josie’s love and the way she believes in her help her start to heal. Despite appearing much more together, Josie has also had to endure painful experiences (hence her unequivocal need for honesty) and I was dreading the moment she would find out Roxanne’s secrets.

The secondary characters are very good too, especially Roxie’s mother and her roommate/colleague/friend Clara. Katheryn Siggers’ narration is excellent, every character is easy to recognize, each voice unique. I love the different accents and everything.

Both the book and the narrator deserved a better recording though. The sound was a bit up and down and some sort of white noise could be heard here and there. It surprised me at first then I got too involved in the story to care anymore. Go in prepared to not always have the best sound quality but do not let it stop you from listening.

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