cover image Queerly Beloved

Queerly Beloved

Susie Dumond. Dial, $17 trade paper (400p) ISBN 978-0-593-24397-8

Dumond uses the inner and interpersonal conflicts of her heroine to meaningfully prod queer rights issues in her funny and moving debut rom-com, set in 2013 Tulsa, Okla. Amy Fariner loves her job at Daily Bread Bakery, where she meets new-to-town Charley, who takes Amy up on her offer to show her the city. When Amy’s homophobic boss, Donna Young, discovers that Amy is a lesbian, Donna fires her, but Amy rebounds quickly, starting a successful career as a professional bridesmaid. Dumond mines the ensuing weddings for wacky humor, but while Amy loves the problem-solving and matrimonial magic inherent to her new business, she becomes uncomfortable supporting an institution still closed to her and other same-sex couples. As she and Charley grow closer via a series of swoonworthy dates, Amy works to find a way to live authentically within a conservative climate. Amy is a classic rom-com heroine, sweet and kind enough to root for, but with a flair for dramatics. Charley goes comparatively underdeveloped and their relationship takes a narrative backseat to Amy’s personal growth. Still, the seamless blend of serious issues, humor, and love make this worthwhile. Agent: Jamie Carr, Book Group. (June)