Nineteen-year-old Jesse McCarthy grapples with his racial and sexual identities against the backdrop of a Jehovah’s Witness upbringing and the legacies of the Windrush generation. A bold coming-of-age debut novel exploring identity, isolation, and connection across generations, time and cultures. Both soft and brutal. Paul Mendez is a fervent new writer with an original and urgent voice.
Rainbow Milk by Paul Mendez
In the Black Country in the 1950s, ex-boxer Norman Alonso is a determined and humble Jamaican who has moved to Britain with his wife to secure a brighter future for themselves and their children. Blighted with unexpected illness and racism, Norman and his family are resilient in the face of such hostilities, but are all too aware that they will need more than just hope to survive.
At the turn of the millennium, Jesse seeks a fresh start in London – escaping from a broken immediate family, a repressive religious community and the desolate, disempowered Black Country – but finds himself at a loss for a new centre of gravity, and turns to sex work to create new notions of love, fatherhood and spirituality.