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4.13  ·  Rating details ·  31 ratings  ·  8 reviews
Besotted is the ballad of Sasha and Liz, American expats in Shanghai. Both have moved abroad to escape—Sasha from her father’s disapproval, Liz from the predictability of her hometown. When they move in together, Sasha falls in love, but the sudden attention from a charming architect threatens the relationship. Meanwhile, Liz struggles to be both a good girlfriend to Sasha ...more
Paperback, 246 pages
Published March 13th 2019 by 7.13 Books
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Average rating 4.13  · 
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 ·  31 ratings  ·  8 reviews

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Besotted starts at the end of an affair. Sasha is soon to leave Shanghai after four years, her departure hastened by the collapse of her relationship with Liz, whom she hired to work at the international school with her because she had no teaching experience and didn’t know any Chinese – and maybe because she signed her application cover letter “Besottedly,” thinking it meant drunkenly. Even before Liz arrived, Sasha had built up romantic notions around her, thinking she’d show her the ropes, he ...more
Taking this on for publicity starting in June. If you're interested in covering the book or interviewing the author, please message me directly!
Jan 16, 2019 rated it liked it
DNF number 2 of 2019. I’m halfway through this book, which the author was kind enough to send me, but it’s not working for me. First, the things I appreciate about it: queer protagonists, detailed setting descriptions that give a sense of place, some pretty great lesbian sex scenes, and a lovely opening passage about a pearl necklace in a box. I thought I’d be *really* into this book based on the first few pages, but I’m not feeling it.

One of my major struggles is the first person omniscient na
Mar 25, 2019 rated it really liked it
Duclos writes an effecting love story with her debut novel of expats escaping their complicated lives at home and looking for meaning elsewhere. Sasha and Liz both flee to Shanghai, and when they meet, they finally feel connected to something. Their love is sweet, and they're both drunk with it, but there is darkness around which they try to tiptoe. Exploring themes of home, loneliness, identity, relationships, and the ennui of the expat population in Shanghai, Duclos meticulously charts the arc ...more
Apr 19, 2019 rated it it was amazing
There are so many reasons to love this book! The crisp writing. The spot-on rendering of the ex-pat experience. The layered characters and their complex relationships. The deft hand with which the author guides the point-of-view. But for me, the most intriguing aspect of the book is the way Duclos makes me feel both uncomfortable with the first-person narrator, Sasha, and completely compelled by her. She appears to revel in manipulating those around her (perhaps even the reader?), and yet is emi ...more
May 07, 2019 rated it really liked it
Spoiler Alert: The following comment reveals some plot elements.

Well written love story between Liz and Sasha. Sasha is a desperate for love, patient, predatory seducer. Liz, although well into her twenties, is an immature adolescent. Both are using ex-pat status in Singapore as a tool to conceal their self perceived real and imaginary short comings.

This is a recipe for great story telling, as well as providing commentary on Sinapore's ex pat society.
Apr 06, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Ex-pat teaching experience is on-point in BESOTTED. For me it was a beguiling twist on the old mail order bride concept. Loneliness and escape are major themes woven throughout as are desperation and fashioning someone to be what you want them to be, not what they are. Excellent.
Cheryl A.
Jun 12, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I love it when I find a writer who's also a stylist. A love story told in a fresh voice (Love and Loneliness have speaking roles), a Shanghai setting filled with so much sensory detail that I felt like I knew the city, and a manipulative protagonist I couldn't help rooting for. Smart and engaging.
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