Here’s the spot where we recommend a children’s book every week – Infamous by Lex Croucher is this week’s choice.
Fans of Regency-era stories are feasting well right now. We’ve had Bridgerton, not enough people saw Mr Malcolm’s List and now we have the utter joys that are Lex Croucher’s novels. Her debut novel Reputation channeled Mean Girls with a delicious enemies-to-lovers trope, with some of the most charming love letters ever rendered in YA. Now we have Infamous, a queer romance that may just convert some of us cynical souls to friends-to-lovers.
22-year-old aspiring writer Edith ‘Eddie’ Miller and her best friend Rose have always done everything together – climbing trees, throwing grapes at boys, sneaking bottles of wine, practicing kissing . . . But following their debutante ball Rose is suddenly talking about marriage, and Eddie is horrified. When Eddie meets charming, renowned poet Nash Nicholson, he invites her to his crumbling Gothic estate in the countryside. The entourage of eccentric artists indulging in pure hedonism is exactly what Eddie needs in order to forget Rose and finish her novel.
Not only does Croucher manage to bottle romance so potent that it’s priceless, she also manages to write with such laugh-out-loud humour. There are moments in this book that, should they be read in public, will induce such laughter that bystanders will watch-on with much curiosity. Eddie is so joyfully clueless to just about everything, so focused on harnessing her writing that she is oblivious to the world. Including, and especially, her own feelings. The emotional realism with which her slowburn romance is explored, and her search for personal validation of her writing and place within the world, is balanced beautifully with witty dialogue delivered by an epic and inclusive ensemble cast.
This is one of those books which is so well–rendered, you can already picture the film adaptation. The gothic manor where everything is falling apart, the dashing but corrupting Romantic poet, and two young women experiencing a shared love that the time period they live in does not allow.
Billed as Bridgerton meets Book Smart, you can’t go wrong with this funny and heartfelt story of two nuanced young women trying to make their mark on the world.
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