Fantasy Mystery Romance Comics Non-Fiction

Rough Around the Hedges

Sunday, January 7, 2024

Rough Around the Hedges (2023) Lish McBride (Uncanny Romance)

Rough Around the HedgesVanessa Woodbridge and her sister defied their father–and paid the price when both were cut off.

But Vanessa wants to go to school, but to do so she needs her father to verify her education–since she and her sister were both home schooled.

He sighed. “You know, Vanessa, I’m not the villain here. This estrangement between us—you and Juliet—it pains me.” He placed a hand over where his heart should be. I had no evidence that an actual organ resided there.

He is vile.

Will Murphy is an arcane piercer and works in a tattoo shop owned by one of his best friends. He goes to book club with his grandmother and everything in his life is good–except that he’s in love with he best friend and won’t do anything about it.

And that, gentlefolk, was my nana. No subject was taboo, and when I’d edged into puberty, my education had been thorough. Nana signed me up for a class through the library, got me books, and made me watch a few educational videos. I had no idea what she’d done for my half-siblings. I guess she’d assumed their parents would handle it…though I’m sure she sent books. Nana thinks most problems can be solved with books. I’m not sure she’s wrong.

I identified a bit too much with Vanessa.

I’d spent most of my life learning to gag that voice. I knew it was cruel and cutting. It didn’t do me any favors. But still it whispered pure poison in my ear in my weakest moments. It was the voice of bad decisions and poor choices.

This was the problem with dealing with my father. A conversation was never just a conversation. I had to filter everything for subtext, tone, motivation. It was exhausting.

The thing about being around my father was that even when he wasn’t actively doing anything terrible, you were still waiting for him to do so at any minute. Being constantly alert like that was exhausting.

“Just because you’re used to something doesn’t mean it’s okay.

It was one of those moments where I was just so exhausted with myself. Unfortunately, I couldn’t take turns being anyone else.

Initially I was not sure I loved how Will and Van worked things out. But having stepped back, I think it did work. Van was overwhelmed with dealing with her father and lacked the bandwidth to deal with her feelings for Will. Will recognized this, and did what he needed to do to protect himself.

Lots of boinking again, but I was easily able to skip it and don’t feel like I missed anything important.

Publisher: Devo-Lish. Cover design & illustration:Jenny Zemanek

Rating: 8/10


No comments

Leave a Comment

XHTML: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>

RSS feed Comments