‘Warm Pearls and Paper Cranes’ is the wonderful debut novel from E.V. Bancroft. It’s a story told over two time periods, with two couples. Starting in pre-war 1939, Maud and Bea find love at a time when lesbian relationships were completely taboo. How can they find a way to be together when the world is against them? In the present day Hannah may be open in some areas of her life, but convincing the woman she loves, Suki, to do the same is not easy. It seems prejudices remain and they can be hard to push back against. Maud and Bea are now old and forced apart in different nursing homes. As the two stories intertwine, the women must fight those who would keep them apart – and fight their own pre-conceived ideas.
I was surprised this was a first novel, as the storytelling was so skilful and appeared effortless. The prose flowed beautifully and the characters were believable and brought truth to the story. It was the most compelling story of love, of fighting to be see and heard. I went through so many emotions reading these two love stories, each with problems to be overcome. The writing was powerful, emotional and exceptional.
I left it feeling happy and joyful. Highly recommended.
I was given this ARC to review.