During Black History month, it can be pretty common for readers to reach out to a glowing biography or turn to books highlighting the intergenerational trauma of the Black Community. These are valid. What’s also valid is reading a novel like Honey Girl, which is fun, smart, and explores the life of a Black Queer person.
Grace Porter has been working hard her entire life. With a Colonel for a father, she’s known mostly to her family as Porter. Grace has sacrificed, fought, and done everything she can to be a high achiever. It has been exhausting, but responsibility has been one of her major defining features for decades. That’s what makes it all the more surprising when she has too much to drink in Las Vegas and marries a woman she’s just met. With only a business card and a wedding chapel photo to guide her, Porter initially keeps her head down and struggles to find a job with her PHD in astronomy, partially to please her demanding father. After struggling under the weight of expectations for her life, Grace goes to New York to get to know the woman she accidentally married, and find out who Grace really is when not bowing to societal pressure.
I absolutely loved this book. The author, Morgan Rogers, is a Queer Black Millennial. She writes boldly, and intelligently, with sentences that often flow like poetry. It is extremely easy to picture every character in this book, and you can tell Rogers has lovingly explored all of them. The book celebrates diversity, without being preachy or forcing it, as only a Queer Black Millennial can. The book does not shy away from racism, mental health issues, or difficult conversations about overwhelming expectations. It is so easy to fall headlong into the story and stay there until the very last page.
Honey Girl is available February 23, 2021.