Last fall/winter there was a hullabaloo that ripped Romance Writers of America (RWA) asunder. I will flub things if I try to explain it here, so I won’t, but feel free to check out this article on Jezebel or this post from Smart Bitches. Basically, Courtney Milan, herself a woman of color, pointed out racism in a novel and the author of that novel filed a complaint for being called out. In response, RWA suspended Milan for a year and banned her from future RWA leadership positions.
I read Courtney Milan’s response to the Ethics Committee regarding the complaint and was duly impressed. That woman can turn the shit out of a phrase, I tell you.
I realized at some point that I’d bought one of her novels at some point and hadn’t read it yet, so I found it and started reading it. I went on a long car trip when I wasn’t finished and couldn’t bear to wait until I got home, so I downloaded the audiobook for the ride. That was The Duchess War and I quickly listened to Courtney Milan’s entire backlist. Except one because the narrator was terrible, but I’ll get to that when I do reviews on the individual series.
I’m counting the ways I love Courtney Milan. I love her prose. I love the depth of her characters. I love the community you can feel in her books. But I think it’s her choice of theme and subject matter is what has made her my favorite author.
Here is an in-exhaustive list of things about Milan’s books that go right to the squishy part of my soul:
- Transgender protagonist (Hold Me)
- Imposter syndrome
- Domestic violence
- Voting rights
- Justice system
- Healing properties of dogs
- Child abuse/childhood trauma
- Same sex relationships
- Societal shaming
- Perspective of the ones who don’t get to write the history books
Read her books. Seriously, go read them. I can’t say enough about how good they are. I will say more, though. I will talk about each of her series in posts to come. Until then, pick any of them to read. They’re all wonderful.
Dogs and books: they just go together.