A Sapphic Coming of Age You Won't Want To Miss - Last Night At The Telegraph Club Review
𝓢𝓸𝓶𝓮 𝓠𝓾𝓲𝓬𝓴 𝓢𝓽𝓪𝓽𝓼
Overall: 5/5 Stars
Plot and Themes: 5/5
Awesomeness Factor: 5/5
𝓦𝓱𝓪𝓽 𝓘𝓽'𝓼 𝓐𝓫𝓸𝓾𝓽...
A historical fiction set in 1950s San Francisco, focusing on queer culture and the coming of age of a Chinese American? Yes, please. In an era, full of disruption and upheaval, the neon lights of a lesbian bar known as the Telegraph Club offer sanctuary to those in need of it. To a young girl questioning her identity, the nights and lively shows call her, bringing with them perhaps the answers she’s been looking for. To do so, she’ll enlist the help of an unlikely friend and together they will go forth, unlocking the very secrets that the club has to offer them.
This was as close to perfect as a novel can get for me. I cried just as much as I smiled, screamed, and threw the book. The author knows just how to trigger emotion in the reader and get you so connected to the characters. Like many historical fiction novels, the book had a very descriptive narrative, and I thoroughly enjoyed that. Malinda Lo (the author) is simply magical with the way that she writes, inviting the reader into the pages of her book, and making them feel like one with the story and characters.
Last Night at the Telegraph Club explores the challenging conditions associated with the era yet manages to keep a sense of warmth and hope in every aspect of the novel. A feeling that remains, even during some of the darker moments of the novel. One of my favorite parts throughout is the main character's journey toward discovering her queer identity and coming into her identity as a Chinese American. Especially as this was a time in America when neither were tolerated. I loved how it tied together self-discovery and a love realization.
This novel also alternates between many points of view, however, most of the chapters are told from Lily’s point of view. The main criticism I have seen for this book is that it includes many POVs or that the other POVs were boring. However, I enjoyed the alternate POVs because the reader gets to learn more about Lily’s past, Lily’s family, and how their past affects her present life and future.
The characters were built so well. The content was incredibly well researched and fact-checked. The plot had me on the edge of my chair. The sapphic romance was adorable and an expertly written slow burn. What else can I say?
Trigger warnings: parental abuse, sexism, misogyny, racism, racial slurs, deportation, death of a loved one, homophobia, internalized homophobia, miscarriage.
Last Night at the Telegraph Club by Malinda Lo | Goodreads
Amazon.com: Last Night at the Telegraph Club: 9780525555278: Lo, Malinda: Books
Malinda Lo - Author of Last Night at the Telegraph Club, Ash, and other novels.
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