Author: Ashley Herring Blake
Content Warnings: None!
Genre: Sapphic (Spicy!) Romance
RATING out of 10 violets, with 1 being the least and 10 being the most pain
2/10 soft, velvety violets!
This was the most refreshing read because it was the first piece of Sapphic content that I’ve ever encountered that had a happy ending without any identity-centered traumatic bits in between.
Before I move onto the spoiler-y part of my review, I will say that you can rest assured that this is a safe read with a happy ending. I highly recommend this book, especially for those of you who are really dying for a Sapphic happily-ever-after.
This review from this point forward contains spoilers.
I will admit that I was almost turned off by the fact that this romance is centered around the wedding of Astrid Parker, Delilah Green’s step-sister. I tend to find these kind of stories cheesy–but something about the idea of a lesbian photographer and and a host of bisexual bridesmaids won me over.
I particularly enjoyed the dual-point of view Ashley Herring Blake uses for Delilah and her love interest, Claire Sutherland. I loved seeing how Herring Blake explored the bridal party’s complicated past through these two unique perspectives in such a way that allows us to see both women’s faults and virtues so that you’re on both their sides every moment along the way, no matter how dicey the situations gets. What surprised me about this dual-perspective novel was that it not only illuminated the inner workings of the central romance, but it also allowed a deeper look into how and why step-sisters Delilah and Astrid became and remained so estranged after the death of Delilah’s father. There was a really deep well of humanity and sincerity in this book that I typically don’t expect from romance novels but really appreciated.
I also loved how spicy this book got, especially since it was done so well. *Wiggles Eyebrows* All I’ll say is that I’m taking pointers from Herring Blake…
I’m also a sucker for any story with a single mom. And for kids. What struck me is that Claire’s daughter isn’t just adorable or meant to tug on our heart strings: she’s the vehicle for a really sensitive subject for many Sapphics. As Astrid’s flower girl, she’s expected to wear a frilly, lacy dress, but she has an utter meltdown about it because it’s just too girly. It was a really smart touch within a narrative that gently addresses the loneliness and alienation of queer girlhood and adolescence.
But it wouldn’t be Sapphic if it was entirely devoid of pain, would it be? I was particularly drawn to the gorgeously cinematic scene that Delilah describes when she saw Claire again for the first time upon returning to Bright Falls. I was also a sucker for the fact that Claire, in her moment of utter despair, became Delilah’s artistic inspiration. It’s a good pain because it’s far enough removed from the narrative that it doesn’t taint their relationship or make it about suffering in any capacity, and it makes both Delilah and Claire feel like real, complicated people. So while this is now the second source of pain I’ve brought up, it’s not the main dynamic in this Sapphic relationship, which is why I will champion this book until the day I die.
And I was absolutely delighted to find out that our queer women’s stories don’t stop here–Herring Blake’s got two more in the Bright Falls series slated for publication: Astrid Parker Doesn’t Fail (Fall 2022) and Iris Kelly Doesn’t Date (expected 2023)!
So, yes. You are safe with Delilah Green Doesn’t Care. I’ve given it 2 violets out of 10 because Delilah’s still coming to terms with her dad’s death and her place within her family, but it’s handled very gently, and in no way does her sense of (un)belonging stem from her queerness. I was incredulous, too. But it’s beautiful and sexy and surprising and sincere. And you’re going to love it.