elisa_rolle (elisa_rolle) wrote,

If I Were a Lady... by Bryl Tyne

This book probably wins the prize of most original book of 2009, and I don't believe that in the next nine months I will be able to find another book as original as this one. Maybe I'm wrong, and out there there are other transgender story like this one, but sincerely I have never stumbled upon them and so feel free to correct me.

Kendra is a woman; she is a beautiful woman, a woman her female colleagues at school "friendly" envy and his male colleagues desire; she also loves her work as fifth grade teacher and she is always gentle both with kids than adults. But Kendra is not exactly a woman: she is born with the body of a woman but with a penis, even if small it is always a penis and it works like that also. And so Kendra, who believes in true and forever love, has always thought that for her it's not possible to have it, and always lowered herself to be content with seedy and dreary relationships that clash with her persona and her work.

Then Valerian, Val, enter her life; the new principal of the school, from the first day he seems to fall over heels for Kendra. He is insistent but charming, he vows Kendra with flowers and music, and he treats her like the woman she felt. But Kendra couldn't believe that their story has a future, and always tries to dirty this true love making it only a question of sex.

I like the contrast between Kendra as a woman and her approach to love, and sex. Kendra is a woman in toto, the author is very good in describing her in front of a mirror while she is taking care of her, hair, make up and dresses. Not only that, the author spends time to describe her dresses, even her shoes, and all of this allow the reader to see Kendra as a woman. But, and this is strange, Kendra is also a "man", since what she has of a man, she can't ignore; it's a part of her that always remind her that she is not a "lady", that she is not allowed to have the forever love she wants. And so Kendra is a woman but also a man.

I like also Val, even if he has not the development of Kendra. He is the classic Prince Charming, and behaves like that; he is perfect and being perfect maybe he is a little less interesting than Kendra. But Val has a final turning that made me almost cheer up for him.

Finally my doubts: first I really didn't understand the final dark "turn", but maybe it allows to give a background to Kendra so the reader can understand why she is so eager to find true love; second I felt the second part of the story a bit rushed, like the author realized that she had only few pages still to complete and tried to packed all in them. I believe this would be even a better story with some pages more, but as it's, for me it is something you should try.


Reading List:

http://www.librarything.com/catalog_bottom.php?tag=reading list&view=elisa.rolle
Tags: author: bryl tyne, genre: contemporary, length: novella, review, theme: cinderfella, theme: office affairs

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