A story set in 2003 New York City about a genderqueer book conservator who feels trapped by her gender presentation, her ill-fitting relationship, and her artistic block, as she discovers a decades-old hidden queer love letter and becomes obsessed with tracking down its author.
... richly imagined debut ... Kelly populates the novel with a roundly developed cast... and while the mystery of why Gertrude’s letter was bound into the book will keep the reader turning pages, it’s Dawn’s evolution as an artist and a person that gives the novel its beating heart. Readers will find lots to love.
The narrative suffers from slow pacing, a protagonist who is spectacularly self-absorbed and kind of a jerk... and from the fact that Gertrude’s story is so much more interesting than Dawn’s. It is, nevertheless, a salient reminder that there was a time when the word nonbinary was virtually unknown. An intriguing but uneven debut.