cover image Dykette


Jenny Fran Davis. Holt, $27 (320) ISBN 978-1-250-84313-5

Three Brooklyn couples descend on a Hudson Valley farmhouse over Christmas in Davis’s waggish send-up of lesbian culture (after Everything Must Go). The reader’s guide through the gay yuletide antics is Sasha, a high-femme graduate student whose relationship with Jesse hits the skids after she overhears Jesse’s virtual therapy appointment: “It feels like I’m starving for love, and she’s feasting on it.” The house is owned by Jules, a primetime newscaster à la Rachel Maddow, and Jules’s partner, Miranda, a therapist with a podcast. They’re soon joined by Darcy and Lou, the former an artsy influencer. The six cook in the house’s commercial-sized kitchen, hike in the Catskills, and sip hot drinks made with oat milk. Together, they revisit the 1990s film Boys Don’t Cry, and Sasha lusts after Miranda while thinking about Chloë Sevigny. Meanwhile, Darcy, whom Sasha dismisses but secretly envies, pronounces the film “dated.” The couples’ extended stay becomes more fraught after Jesse and Darcy take to livestreaming an erotic art performance, and Sasha, who thought she’d incorporate the trip into her graduate research on queer domesticity, reexamines her fantasies and theories. Though there’s a bit too much exposition, Davis delights in upending concepts of gender and sexuality. It’s more digressive than propulsive, but it’s worth adding to the weekend bag. (May)