About the Book:
A vivid, bold and compelling new novel of female friendship and what it means to be a young woman after MeToo, from one of the most exciting young novelists writing today.
Everyone’s got that history, I guess. Everyone’s got a story.
When Emily meets the enigmatic and dazzling actress Tamsin, her life changes. Drawn into Tamsin’s world of Soho living, boozy dinners, and cocktails at impossibly expensive bars, Emily’s life shifts from black and white to technicolour and the two women become inseparable.
Tamsin is the friend Emily has always longed for; beautiful, fun, intelligent and mysterious and soon Emily is neglecting her previous life – her work assisting vulnerable women, her old friend Lucy – to bask in her glow. But when a bombshell news article about a decades-old sexual assault case breaks, Emily realises that Tamsin has been hiding a secret about her own past. Something that threatens to unravel everything.
Young Women is a razor-sharp novel that slices to the heart of our most important relationships, and asks how complicit we all are in this world built for men.
Published by Allen & Unwin – Bonnier (Manilla)
Released 5th July 2022
Beautifully written, compelling and thought provoking, Young Women is a novel that I hope becomes the next one that everyone is talking about. Emily and Tamsin are in their mid-twenties, navigating their way through a world that is pushing back against the patriarchy. This is a post-MeToo story, but it’s not ‘just another’ MeToo story, if that makes sense. It’s more of a story about having agency over your own experiences. Having the right to make a call about what to do with your own story, without feeling the imposed pressure to act within the defined parameters of how others think you should act.
I really liked how the author examined the manner in which women can take ownership over other women’s experiences. A potentially contentious topic, but she handled it beautifully within this novel. It’s such a critical issue, the way in which we cleave to a hashtag, make it our own, judge, and join the cause, even if we have the best of intentions, are we doing more harm than good? Yes, the anger is real, but my anger doesn’t necessarily have to become your anger, and your trauma doesn’t necessarily have to be considered within the same framework as mine. Do our reactions have to be the same, and am I wrong if my reaction differs to yours, and vice versa. I’m not sure if I’m articulating this in the way that does the novel the justice it deserves, but suffice to say, this is a powerful and impactful read that I highly recommend. Incredibly thought provoking, an ideal pick for book clubs.
Thanks to the publisher for the review copy.