One of the students I teach A level English to is itching for me
to get on and write this review so that she can borrow my proof
copy. What I love most about Rae's debut novel is that it is
completely accessible to young teenagers as well as those who will
no doubt want to read it because they have followed Rae's prolific
musical career over the last decade or so. And what a good thing
too - if anyone needs to read this, ultimately deeply hopeful book,
it is queer youth and their allies.
Written in a spare, honest and often sneakily humorous hand
First Spring Grass Fire tells the story of a young person growing
up queer in a strict Pentecostal family in Alberta, Canada. While
not all of us have lived through a childhood of being saved in
revival tents or survived the family trauma detailed here, many of
us have felt the frustration of living in a nothing suburb; the
excitement of first love; and either know or need the final
assurance that there is always a way out. With eight successful
albums under their belt featuring some of the most tender and wise
lyrics around Rae's first foray into prose was always going to be
something special, and it is. I can't wait to hear what my student
thinks of it!
First Spring Grass Fire is published by Arsenal Pulp Press
and can be purchased
Watch the trailer below.