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The Start of Something

"Ten interconnected stories introduce us to ten different perspectives on sex, queer identities, and the possibilities of love"

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LoveReading Says

LoveReading Says

The Start of Something executes the perfect balance of intricate short story and cohesive novel, interlinking its ten sexual encounters (with some repeating cameos from previous characters), and a satisfying full-circle moment in the end. It’s a device which Williams uses to relentlessly question her own questions, to toss and turn ideas from different perspectives and angles – bisexuality as experienced by different genders and personalities, whether there is always a winner and loser in open relationships, whether it’s possible for women to perform passivity for the male gaze in a way that gives rather than takes their agency, ‘selling out’ as an artist. It’s also effortlessly fluid in its movement between different identities. 

The book has a wonderful momentum, in each chapter and as a whole – I’d often tell myself I’d just read one before bed and then be compelled to start the next one. Because as we are introduced to these interlocking characters, the reader gets to experience that pleasure of meeting a new person, feeling that pull of intrigue, of wondering if they will be someone we get to know more. I found it a lovely way to enact the experience of fiction with hopping between different identities and ways of seeing the world.

I found something moving and surprising in each – I might not have expected to, but I found myself drawn to a husband’s feelings of inadequacy one family dinner-time, as to his wife on a festival weekend, who is having a very different experience of their open marriage. 

Lily Lindon

Star Books

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