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Jennifer Neal

Notes On Her Colour

Notes On Her Colour

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'The Florida that American-Australian author Jennifer Neal brings to life in her book, thick with humidity and vulnerable to catastrophic weather events-where 'survival is a season'-is the evocative backdrop to this story of trauma, grief, queer love and transcendent joy. ' SONIA NAIR, B + P

Gabrielle has inherited the ability to change the colour of her skin from her mother, Tallulah. They guard their power carefully within the walls of a home that's been bleached completely white. This is the doing of Gabrielle's father, Robert. After battling his executive-level colleagues all day at the office as a man of colour, he needs everything in his house to be white - including his wife and daughter.

This is a house with secrets. Robert does not know that Talullah keeps a rainbow of spices stored in baggies and sewn into the lining of her handbag. Nor does he know that when he's away, Gabrielle and Tallulah let their skin pass through a spectrum of bright, dark, rebellious colours. But when Gabrielle discovers a love for the piano, she also finds she can change her skin, and find joy and acceptance, without her mother nearby. Gabrielle is learning of a world beyond her family's carefully-coded existence, and her mother is watching.

The Colour of Her Blood is a novel where the strange and surreal meets the kitsch of Florida as it explores the dynamic of a family traumatised by racial violence in North America. It's a glittering, corrosive, witty tale about race, privilege, music and queerness.

At its heart, it's a story about a mother, told by her daughter.
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