A fantastic read that was recommended to me by Book Twitter, Jane, Unlimited by Kristin Cashore features a heroine who, while she doesn’t directly address her sexuality in the text, is most definitely attracted to both sexes equally within the story.
Orphaned at a young age, Jane was raised by her Aunt Magnolia, a deep sea photographer who was often away from home for long stretches. Now Magnolia is gone, missing and presumed dead after a trip to Antarctica, leaving Jane drifting along through her life, directionless and full of grief. She takes solace in her hobby, making custom-designed umbrellas based on her fanciful creative whimsy.
Until a chance encounter with an old friend, Kiran Thrash. Kiran’s fabulously wealthy family own a private island with a remarkable mansion, Tu Reviens. One of Magnolia’s last pieces of advice to Jane was, if you’re ever invited to Tu Reviens, go. So when Kiran invites Jane to accompany her there, Jane goes.
This book is difficult to describe. After moving her life to Tu Reviens, Jane is one day faced with a trivial choice; and that choice determines the rest of the novel’s plot. Essentially multiple stories contained within one book, each choice Jane makes in that one fateful moment spins out its story, with remarkable and magical consequences. Think of the beginning of the book as the handle of an umbrella, and each section following Jane’s choice is a spoke of the umbrella; related, connected, but ultimately separate and coming to its own conclusion.
I really don’t want to divulge more of the plot(s) because each one is so different and such a delightful discovery to make on one’s own. Mostly I was very taken with the matter-of-factness of Jane’s attraction to all genders. I love it when entertainment takes into account a character’s LGBTQ identity, but without making the plot hinge upon it. It normalizes it, which is so important.
I’ve lent this book to my queer teen to read. I’ll update this post with her impressions when she’s finished!
Update 02/21/2019: She loved it so much she’s going to buy her own copy so she can re-read it whenever she wants! 10/10, highly recommended!