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Rust Belt Femme by Raechel Anne Jolie - Review

Thursday, October 21, 2021



I got this book on Netgalley, so thank you very much to Belt Publishing for the opportunity to read this. I received a free electronic copy of the book for review purposes, but was not otherwise compensated for this review. All thoughts and opinions are my own. ]

I will also give a trigger warning for sexual assault within the book. 

Raechel grew up in rural Ohio, in poverty. When she was four her father was hit by a driver and left disabled by the crash. He came home but was very angry (caused by his injuries) and eventually went to live with his mother. Raechel and her mother eventually lost their house. They lived with a few of Raechel's mum's boyfriends, including one who sexually assaulted Raechel when she was a young teenager. Raechel was close to her mum's parents and their partners, all of whom seemed to have more money than Raechel and her mum. Raechel talks candidly though about how hard her mum had to work to keep them afloat and keep them together.

Raechel also is queer, so she talks about that too, about her first sexual experiences, about the queer men she grew up around, and about the boys she first fell in love with and all that they gave her. She and I are clearly of an age because her experiences at gigs as a teenager resonated very strongly with me. Plus she saw Against Me! way back when which is pretty cool! 

Raechel is also a fierce femme and talks about femininity and femme as a performance. This is something I really empathise with too. She talks about her glamourous grandma and how she learnt femme from her. The book really resonated with me and made me think about a lot of things. It's not too long but it is really good, I'm giving it five out of five. 

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