Stephen Clynes's Reviews > In at the Deep End

In at the Deep End by Kate        Davies
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it was amazing

Follow Julia who is 26 years old and is single. She lives in London but has not had sex for 3 years. Julia decides her dry patch has lasted for too long and jumps In at the Deep End to have some fun in her life.

I was really attracted to the cover of this book. It shows two red chilli peppers arranged together to let the reader imagine they were labia. In at the Deep End gets off to a great start from the first paragraph by informing the reader of Julia’s sex life.

The writing style within this book is jolly and the mild humour will make you smile. For example…

Staring into my eyes, he went to push himself into me. He missed. ‘Jesus. That’s never happened before,’ he said. He picked up his penis and guided himself in, frowning as though he was trying to assemble a particularly tricky piece of IKEA furniture.

...In at the Deep End is a story told in the first person and this format is ideal for this book as it lets the reader walk in Julia’s shoes. It does not matter what gender or sexuality the reader has, because Julia tries many, many things for the first time and like her, you can enjoy what happens like a virgin too.

I liked how this novel was not just about sex. Character development of Julia was very good and I found it very easy to enter her world of work, flat sharing, friends and family. In at the Deep End is Kate’s debut novel but it does not show. Kate is a great storyteller and her book is an intelligent read. I loved all the observations and social commentary. I found the novel to be very well written and although there was a fair amount of sex within the pages, there was no dumbing down of language or content. This is a quality read that I found to be enjoyable, fun and informative.

In at the Deep End guides you into a lesbian lifestyle and demystifies how women can find love. This book allows the reader to access a lifestyle they may have no knowledge about, it is a kind of Lesbians for Beginners. Kate’s outline of sexual acts are told with skill and were not gross and do not make the reader feel uncomfortable.

I loved the explanation of the lesbian lifestyle and it’s culture. I now know the importance of a toaster to lesbians. Because of my age, work, family and friends, I already knew there were many different types of lesbians but this book also mentions by name the different types. Going about your everyday life would you be able to spot the differences between butches, femmes, pillow queens and bull dykes?

I thought the explanation of polygamy within the lesbian scene to be very helpful to heterosexual readers. I thought polygamists were just greedy people who wanted lots and lots of sex, with one partner never being enough for them. I have NEVER strayed away from my wife and would not dream of it. But In at the Deep End does offer the opposite view which helped me to understand why some people are polygamists when Kate writes…

‘I wouldn’t want to limit myself to one woman. It would be like only eating cheese sandwiches for the rest of your life. Sometimes you just want pastrami, don’t you? Which is why I’m non-monogamous.’

...I loved reading In at the Deep End and found it a pleasure to read. Kate’s writing is so good that I just imagined I was Julia and thoroughly enjoyed playing her part in this story. For an author to make the reader feel they are the central character of a novel is really good. For a reader to identify with Julia because they are a woman, or in their 20’s or a lesbian is very, very good. For a 60 year old, heterosexual married man to feel as though he is Julia having all this fun, is absolutely BRILLIANT. I felt really included and could live out a lesbian sex life from the comfort of my armchair. I thoroughly enjoyed reading In at the Deep End, so it gets the top score of 5 stars from me. Only thing is trying to keep a straight face when moving past red chilli peppers in ASDA but I can live with that.

Thanks to NetGalley and the publisher HarperCollins UK for giving me a copy of this book on the understanding that I provide an honest review.
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Reading Progress

Started Reading
February 9, 2019 – Shelved
February 9, 2019 – Finished Reading

Comments Showing 1-3 of 3 (3 new)

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message 1: by Paromjit (new)

Paromjit I tried reading this but had to give up, Stephen....love reading your review and glad you enjoyed this so much! :)


Stephen Clynes Shame you had to give up on this novel Paromjit. As we discussed over The Wych Elm by Tana French, friends can agree on many books but disagree on a few.


message 3: by Toni (new)

Toni Osborne Exact Stephen....glad you enjoyed it but I will pass on this one.....


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