With her newly completed PhD in astronomy in hand, twenty-eight-year-old Grace Porter goes on a girls’ trip to Vegas to celebrate. She’s a straight A, work-through-the-summer certified high achiever. She is not the kind of person who goes to Vegas and gets drunkenly married to a woman whose name she doesn’t know…until she does exactly that.
This one moment of departure from her stern ex-military father’s plans for her life has Grace wondering why she doesn’t feel more fulfilled from completing her degree. Staggering under the weight of her parent’s expectations, a
struggling job market and feelings of burnout, Grace flees her home in Portland for a summer in New York with the wife she barely knows.
In New York, she’s able to ignore all the constant questions about her future plans and falls hard for her creative and beautiful wife, Yuki Yamamoto. But when reality comes crashing in, Grace must face what she’s been running from
all along—the fears that make us human, the family scars that need to heal and the longing for connection, especially when navigating the messiness of adulthood.
If I can say one thing about Honey Girl, Morgan Rogers’ debut novel, it’s that it’s different. It’s a book that fills a hole in the LGBTQ+ market, but also fills a hole in the black queer market
simultaneously. It’s a book about harsh truths that so many new adults face but is unique in its deliverance. This book is so much more than a lesbian romance novel, and even though I expected more bonding and connection between Yuki and Grace, there were other themes that made up for it. Then again, maybe the
distant connection that I got between Grace and Yuki was intentional by the author, considering they were practically strangers when they got hitched in Vegas.
What this book really is, to me, is a character-driven story
centered around Grace’s growth as a person who feels lost and lonely in the world around her. It’s a story about realizing your worth as a human, not based on the opinions and expectations of others, but your drive for happiness over a perfectly executed plan. It’s a story that lets us know, it’s okay not to be okay sometimes.
It touches on parental expectations and how that shapes and,
a lot of times, hurts the child, systemic racial issues in education and the professional workforce, mental illness, and other seriously important topics that too often get glossed over in fiction. This is one reason I’m glad the story didn’t revolve around the romantic plot, and Rogers writes it fantastically.
Different people will get different things out of this book, which is the beauty of it, because there are so many takeaways.
Not to mention the diverse characters, beautifully worded
themes and an absolutely stunning book cover. I think it was a fantastic debut novel, and I can’t wait to read more from Rogers in the future.
You can purchase the book here.