Until recently, Julia hadn’t had sex in three years.
• a one-night stand is accusing her of breaking his penis;
• a sexually confident lesbian is making eyes at her over confrontational modern art;
• and she’s wondering whether trimming her pubes makes her a bad feminist.
Julia’s about to learn that she’s been looking for love – and satisfaction – in
Frank, filthy and very, very funny, In at the Deep End is a brilliant debut from a major new talent.
I had no idea what this book was about when I was offered a place to read it via the Pigeonhole ‘the book club in your pocket’, so went in uninformed.
From the off, I loved the writing style and getting to know Julia, a woman in her late 20’s who we learn very early on is having a substantial drought in her love life and hasn’t had sex for over 3 years. Living with Alice and Dave in a flat with thin walls and listening to them enjoying noisy couple sex night after night quite literally just adds to the frustration Julia is feeling.
After a disastrous one night stand where she is accused of breaking her date’s penis, she heads to warehouse party full of trendy types in the hope of finding a more suitable social crowd. However once there, she catches the eye of a female artist in quite an unexpected way and decides to ride the wave and see what happens…
What happens is that Julia’s sexual adventure takes flight. She embraces her new lesbian life, and a new, intense lover in the shape of another artist, Sam. Sam is a complicated character, and with Julia being so new to this world, she allows Sam to take control of the relationship and Julia finds herself being carried along on all kinds of experiences; some wonderful and some not so much. The characters are really well written, Sam is the mixture of vaguely scary, tender, loving and downright narcissistic at times, and Julia is hard to dislike, eager to learn, sweet and daft, very emotional (she seems to cry a lot on public transport) and really just wants to be out there living her best life.
This book is not for the faint-hearted. There are graphic and detailed examples of sexual experiences that may open your eyes in more ways than one if you aren’t already familiar with the ‘ins and outs’ of lesbian sex. However given how popular the ’50 shades’ series of books are (I’ve never read them myself), that doesn’t seem to be a bad thing, especially when it is surrounding a genuinely interesting relationship.
It’s definitely an interesting journey through what you’re likely to find in the dingy sex dungeons of Kings Cross including sex-slings, BDSM and an awful lot of sex. Don’t think it’s ALL sex though, while it is a huge part of the book, there’s also some complicated relationships themes including manipulation, emotional blackmail and friendship in general. I kept thinking that this book would do really well as a TV series, it’d definitely have high viewing figures!
Thanks to the Pigeonhole mobile book club for letting me read this novel in return for an honest review.