When the unnamed narrator of Little Rabbit first meets the choreographer at an artists' residency in Maine, it's not a match. She finds him loud, conceited, domineering. He thinks her serious, guarded, always running away to write. But when he reappears in her life in Boston and invites her to his dance company's performance, she's compelled to attend. Their interaction at the show sets off a summer of expanding her own body's boundaries: She follows the choreographer to his home in the Berkshires, to his apartment in New York, and into submission during sex. Her body learns to obediently follow his, and his desires quickly become inextricable from her pleasure. This must be happiness, right? Back in Boston, her roommate Annie's skepticism amplifies her own doubts about these heady weekend retreats. What does it mean for a queer young woman to partner with an older man, for a fledgling artist to partner with an established one? Is she following her own agency, or is she merely following him? Does falling in love mean eviscerating yourself?
Their relationship seems designed to provoke: a young, queer woman entering into a relationship with a wealthy, powerful man 20 years her senior. It runs against the grain of what’s considered appropriate in contemporary, progressive dating culture ... But Songsiridej sidesteps the pitfalls and eschews sensationalism; instead, she has written a thoughtful, sexy and, at times, profoundly moving exploration of agency, desire and identity ... Songsiridej’s sex scenes are powerful and well-rendered, with sensual language that remains firmly focused on Rabbit’s emotional experience. They’re exciting without being salacious, transgressive without being lurid or gratuitous ... Little Rabbit is an impressive debut, and with her unflinching prose, Songsiridej shows us how important fearlessness and honesty are when it comes to creating great art.
Hot and sometimes heavy-handed ... Some of the messages about class differences and sexuality feel a bit overstated, but the progression of the relationship is subtle and intriguing, and Songsiridej pulls off sex scenes that a lesser writer could have made cringeworthy. It adds up to an addictive tale of obsessive love.
He orders a gin martini, and somehow that does the trick. 'I knew, right then, that I would sleep with him.' Why? It’s unclear. For a dedicated writer, up at 5 a.m. every day to write before her administrative job, the narrator has a surprisingly limited vocabulary. In the onslaught of sex scenes and seductions that ensue, she fails to summon the specificity that might convince a reader of their chemistry. Instead, strange word choices... frequent clichés...and awkward phrasing...all make for a confusing and uncomfortable read ... 'I knew what Annie wanted,' the narrator thinks, 'a narrative, a pattern of elegantly spaced beats between "bad" and "good" to vindicate both my attitude then and how I felt about the choreographer now.' As it happens, the reader might want some of these things, too, and in the end, this novel fails to deliver them. An exploration of sexual dynamics that is too vague to illuminate or provoke.