Another one of Jess's Rich British People Things: A House Full of Daughters, by Juliet Nicolson. Nicolson is the granddaughter of Vita Sackville-West, a scandalous aristocrat of the early 20th century, equally known for her writing and for her affairs with women like Virginia Woolf. In this poignant and juicy family memoir, Nicolson explores seven generations of mothers and daughters in her family, starting with her great, great grandmother Pepita, who lifted herself out of poverty in Spain by becoming a world-famous flamenco dancer, and ending with Nicolson's own granddaughter, Imogen. Nicolson takes an unsparing but ultimately sympathetic look at her family's dysfunctions and triumphs.
Set in the contemporary South, April Ayers Lawson's debut Virgin and Other Stories offers readers five portraits of desire, temptation, and trust. Each story explores with compassion what it means to have faith—in others, in God—and how that belief can illuminate or blind us from the truth about ourselves. Readers see the world through the eyes of a frustrated man attempting to cope as his virginal bride grapples with her traumatic past, from the perspective of a bratty homeschooler whose repulsion for his mother's best friend, a trans woman, turns to empathy when forced to attend her funeral, and the budding appetites of a young artist entranced by her art dealer and the lure of Metropolitan life. A memorable depiction of sexual awakenings and spiritual epiphanies, Lawson's stories will lead you to your Damascus; they will compel you to embrace all that you are.