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211 pages, Kindle Edition
First published October 3, 2017
"-I'm not a woman, but that doesn't make me a man either."
"Bit of a leap in the dark, though?" Mark suggested, in a last gasp of decency.
Pen smiled, gloriously, a full, wide smile that lit his face and gave him a startling resemblance to Clem. "Mark. Leaping in the dark is what I do."
"I'll say they weren't [married], and I'll engage a lawyer if I have to. I'll see you in court."
"To argue yourself a bastard?" Mr. Hapgood said incredulously.
Pen folded his arms. "If you try to assert Edmund Taillefer was my father, I'll sue."
"For defamation, I hope." Lazarus had a look of unholy awe in his grey eyes.
I don’t see why there’s only two choices, as if unless I behave like a man then I must want to be a woman. I’d hate to put on a satin dress every night and have everyone call me she almost as much as you would. Except some nights, now and again, it would be lovely. If I chose.
Pen's mind didn't always fit his body. Jaw, beard, shoulders, prick; they all said one thing and it wasn't him. He couldn't change what parts his body had ... but he could change how it looked. Long hair and eye paint, jewelery and scarves; he put adornments that said 'woman' on a body that said 'man' and together it added up to something else. To him.
Are you the man you would be if you'd been born with two arms? Don't you think that changed anything about you - how you were treated, how people saw you, how you reacted to them? Or if you'd been born with two arms and lose one aged twenty, say. Would you be the same as you are now?"In a nutshell, I think this is the strongest book of the series and I give it 5 stars!
"They were good kippers, from Brookes Market. It was a good breakfast. Pen had made the tea and cooked the kippers up in a jug over the fire while he toasted yesterday’s bread on a fork...Fox Court, where their lodging house stood, wasn’t a particularly salubrious location. It was a maze of dead-end alleys off Gray’s Inn Road, a little chaos of tenements and leaning houses strung together with wet washing. The streets, if they could be dignified with the name, weren’t clean or inviting or even safe, but their house was decent enough, and run with a firm hand. Admittedly, their landlady supplemented her income as a receiver of stolen goods, but that meant she understood and obliged when they asked her not to give out their names, not to let guests visit, to keep her mouth and door firmly shut."