Rainbow Milk Paul Mendez
An essential and revelatory coming-of-age narrative from a thrilling new voice, Rainbow Milk follows nineteen-year-old Jesse McCarthy as he grapples with his racial and sexual identities against the backdrop of his Jehovah’s Witness upbringing.
In the 1950s, ex-boxer Norman Alonso is a determined and humble Jamaican who has immigrated to Britain with his wife and children to secure a brighter future. Blighted with unexpected illness and racism, Norman and his family are resilient, but are all too aware that their family will need more than just hope to survive in their new country.
At the turn of the millennium, Jesse seeks a fresh start in London, escaping a broken immediate family, a repressive religious community, and his depressed home city in the Black Country. But once he arrives he finds himself at a loss for a new center of gravity, and turns to sex work, music, and art to create his own notions of love, fatherhood, and spirituality.
Rainbow Milk is a bold reckoning with race, class, sexuality, freedom, and religion across generations, time, and cultures. It’s a novel tender with dislocation and loss, as well as the visceral discoveries of pleasure, joy, and creative fulfillment, and Paul Mendez is a fervent new writer with an original and urgent perspective.