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Summary

Winner of the Polari Book Prize 2020

Shortlisted for the Bollinger Everyman Wodehouse Prize 2019

Until recently, Julia hadn’t had sex in three years.

But now:

  • a one-night stand is accusing her of breaking his penis;
  • a sexually confident lesbian is making eyes at her over confrontational modern art;
  • and she’s wondering whether trimming her pubes makes her a bad feminist.

Julia’s about to learn that she’s been looking for love - and satisfaction - in all the wrong places....

Frank, filthy and very, very funny, In at the Deep End is a brilliant debut from a major new talent.

#ImInAtTheDeepEnd

©2019 Kate Davies (P)2019 HarperCollins Publishers

Critic reviews

"Every woman should own a copy of this book." (Erin Kelly)

"Brilliant." (Stylist

"I love this book!" (Josie Long)

What listeners say about In at the Deep End

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Stellar New Talent, Outstanding Reading

Loved every minute of this.

Didn't have much of an idea what it was about beforehand. I only got it because it was read by Lucy Briggs-Owen, who I've heard in some Big Finish audio productions.

Good decision, as it turned out.
This is kind of like a Bridget Jones story, but played more real in terms of both fun and drama, as a young woman moves from being (or thinking of herself as) a not-terribly-bothered heterosexual to being a joyously enthusiastic lesbian. There are laugh out loud bits here, caring sub-plots with parents and a war vet penpal, familiar friends, scary artists, SM clubs and not-really-broken broken penises. There's intensity and love and passion and a really refreshing amount of lesbian fisting. Oh and swing dance, civil service tedium, polyamory for beginners and the healing powers of Magnums.

The ice creams, obviously. No one's healed by the hanguns.

Most of all, the book charts the progress of a central relationship in all its rightness, wrongness, double standards, gaslighting and...did I mention the fisting?

One of the joys of this book is that Kate Davies is new, and bright, and brilliant, and hopefully will be writing more books. I'm so in.

Having just finished this audiobook, I want to start again immediately at the beginning.

That's the power of the author, to be sure, but it's also the power of Briggs-Owen, who makes magic of her reading duties, bringing everyone to absolutely vivid life and giving them realistic angles and lives and voices. It's an utter masterpiece of reading.

Whatever else you're reading or listening to, it can wait. Grab yourself In At The Deep End, have a laugh, go 'Aww,' worry, cheer, go 'Aww' some more and prepare to fall in love like it's a whole new first time.

33 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Misleading Synopsis

Like many others, I bought this as a daily deal for £1.99. I understood it to be a ‘chick lit’ and for £2 that was perfect. Something to switch off to - bubble gum for the brain & nothing serious.

What I actually got was lesbian chick lit. Without beating around the bush this is a story about a girl’s coming out experience and subsequent lesbian relationships.

Now, there was lots I enjoyed about this book. Ultimately it was a good tale (albeit a bit too long) and kudos must go to Lucy Briggs-Owen for magnificent narration and an array of very believable accents. Particularly Sam, who I think she performed just as I imagined in my head. Where my issue lies is the (numerous) graphic descriptions of fisting and other lesbian sex acts, and dialogue which includes ‘I miss your gorgeous cunt’ and ‘I can’t wait to taste your cunt’. I don’t think I’m a prude but I just wasn’t expecting this and for someone like my mum who is 70 and may well decide to have a listen to a book like this, I just don’t think it’s what she would want to hear. All it requires is a little bit more information to inform people that it is a lesbian chick lit, or even ‘a story about Julia’s journey discovering her sexual identity and relationship’s with several other women.’

Other than this my main issue with the story is the suggestion that all gay women indulge in S&M, partner-swapping and frequenting sex clubs on a weekly basis as part of their standard lesbian life. I know this is simply not true and it just seemed a bit unrealistic. Particularly when coupled with the crude aforementioned dialogue.

I’ve given this 4* because I did enjoy it, but I think it needs a more accurate synopsis.

10 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Incredible!

couldn't stop listening! Absolutely fantastic from start to finish, funny, awkward and uplifting and sad and brilliant

17 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Will make you check you have your headphones plugged in about every 8 minutes

Best book that I’ve read or listened to in a long time - an incredibly real and compelling main character.

15 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Surprisingly amazing

The synopsis doesn’t do it justice. Beautifully written by Kate Davies and is both hilarious and in lightening. The narration was fantastic and she was able to create clear characters that you could connect to. Target audience open minded women up for a laugh out loud read.

6 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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🔥🔥🔥

One of those books that you're glad to have headphones for to mask the blushes though I found myself recommending this to everyone!Funny, emotional and important regardless of sexuality if only for the depictions of how little manipulations can manifest into abuse...

5 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

the best audiobook I've listened to this year

fabulously written and performed. so funny and true and insightful. gives an educated view of modern relationships

5 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • 22-05-19

surprising!

i really enjoyed this book. i got in to it without knowing anything about it. i was pleasantly surprised it was about queer love and relationships. i felt my blood boiling at parts but i won't spoil anything. narrator was excellent.

4 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Bloody brilliant!

The writing and performance of this story are excellent - we laughed aloud with recognition and gasped open jawed on many occasions throughout.

4 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

A bit disappointed

*spoilers*

The beginning of this audiobook was smashing. A woman who only later in life discovers she's a lesbian? Very interesting premise. However as the novel went on more and more things began to irritate me. From Julia only ever having had vanilla sex and not even knowing what fisting is, to most characters being quite underdeveloped. For example Julia's roommate Alice who breaks up with her boyfriend/fiancé but then gets back together again when seemingly nothing much has changed.

From the description I had expected a light read, but the story got a bit dark in the end. Sam pretty much had a breakdown with her controlling, manipulative behaviour. I did like how Julia saw the other side of it as she told us what the story would have looked like from Sam's perspective.

I found the end way too sugary sweet for a more 'edgy' book. It turned the otherwise 4 star read into 3 stars for me. Julia ending up with Owen's sister, with a new job and back dancing felt too perfect. I wish my life goals were this easily attainable.

The narration was good. I liked the generall narration voice, and the various UK accents. The French accent wasn't great, but forgivable. I loved how the narrator audibly sighed, paused and brought the emotions of the characters to life.

Overall I had expected more from this book based on the raving reviews. In the end it all felt a bit unsatisfactory. I had wanted a bit more depth and bit less whining Julia.

2 people found this helpful