Rainbow Milk Paul Mendez
A skilful debut with a lot of heart, Rainbow Milk is a novel adapted from autobiography. It spans the narrator Jesse’s trajectory from a stifling childhood in a Jehovah’s Witness community, coming out as gay and his subsequent estrangement from his family, through to his experiences as a sex worker and waiter as he carves out his path in London searching through sex and drugs, eventually finding his people and the belonging that was lacking in his family. The story begins 50 years earlier with his grandparents arrival on the Windrush, clearly showing the traumatic repercussions across generations where hopes for a better life are met with a hostile reception; this doesn’t change for Jesse decades later as a gay black man in white spaces. Mendez brilliantly writes Jamaican patois and Black Country dialect into the dialogue and peppers the narrative with pop culture and music references which make the reading experience truly immersive. This is a stunning rollercoaster of a story about self-discovery through faith, race, sexuality and ultimately love. Highly recommended ? ? ?
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