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In recent years, sapphic literature has gained immense popularity among readers, and 2023 promises to be no different. With its focus on same-sex relationships between women, sapphic books provide a powerful and important representation of LGBTQ+ experiences. Whether you are looking for romance, coming-of-age stories, or works that delve deep into the complexities of identity and societal expectations, there is a sapphic book out there for everyone.
In this article, we have compiled a list of the best sapphic books to read in 2023, ranging from classics to contemporary works, to help you navigate the diverse and exciting world of sapphic literature. So, get ready to be swept away by these powerful stories that explore the beauty and complexities of love and life.
1. The One Woman by Laura May
Laura May’s book explores the complexities of love and timing through the story of Julie, a skilled graphic designer who finds herself in a relationship with her boyfriend Mark that lacks excitement and passion. However, everything changes when she meets Ann, a beautiful and successful woman who oozes charisma and ignites a spark in Julie that she cannot ignore. Their chemistry is undeniable, and when they reunite in Barcelona, their connection deepens.
Despite her growing feelings for Ann, Julie finds herself torn between her loyalty to Mark and her desire to explore this newfound love. As she struggles to navigate this emotional turmoil, tragedy strikes, adding even more pressure to an already difficult situation. Julie is faced with the ultimate question: will her love for Ann withstand the test of timing?
The saying “Right person, wrong timing” perfectly encapsulates Julie’s dilemma, as she grapples with the conflicting feelings of loyalty and desire. Laura May’s book offers a strong exploration of love, desire, and the complexities of human relationships, as well as a powerful representation of LGBTQ+ experiences. With its beautifully crafted characters and emotional depth, this book is sure to resonate with readers who have experienced the joys and challenges of navigating love and timing.
2. The Henna Wars by Adiba Jaigirdar
In her latest book, the author portrays the struggles of a young woman named Nishat who feels trapped between her family’s expectations and her own identity. Nishat wants to be true to herself and not hide her true feelings, but the fear of losing her family’s love and acceptance holds her back. However, everything changes when her childhood friend, Flávia, walks back into her life. Flávia is stunningly beautiful and charismatic, and Nishat finds herself falling for her instantly.
As fate would have it, a school competition invites students to create their own businesses, and both Nishat and Flávia decide to showcase their talent as henna artists. However, their rivalry to prove who is the best only tangles their lives further. Despite the competition, Nishat can’t help but harbor feelings for Flávia, and it appears that the feelings are mutual.
As the competition heats up, Nishat is faced with a difficult decision: keep her feelings hidden and stay in the closet, or confront her family’s expectations and pursue a relationship with Flávia. The author skillfully portrays the emotional turmoil that Nishat experiences as she struggles to reconcile her love and her cultural identity. With beautifully crafted characters and an engaging storyline, this book offers a heartwarming and emotional journey that will resonate with readers of all ages.
3. The Price of Salt by Patricia Highsmith
Under the pseudonym Claire Morgan, Patricia Highsmith penned the iconic lesbian love story, “The Price of Salt”. This book gained notoriety for its depiction of same-sex relationships, which was unusual at the time of its publication. The author drew inspiration from a chance encounter with a mysterious woman in a shop, whom she briefly followed.
What sets “The Price of Salt” apart is its happy ending, which was unprecedented in homosexual fiction. This was a departure from the formulaic tragedy that characterized lesbian pulp novels at the time. Moreover, the characters in the book defied the stereotypes surrounding homosexuality. As a result, the book gained immense popularity among lesbians in the 1950s.
Although the book fell out of print, it was later reissued and continues to be celebrated as a pioneering work of lesbian romance. The story’s themes of love, desire, and social norms still resonate with readers today, making it an important and enduring work in LGBTQ+ literature.
4. 6 Times We Almost Kissed by Tess Sharpe
Penny and Tate have been constantly bickering for years, but they’ve recently decided to call a truce and play nice. They have no choice but to cooperate because their mothers, who are life-long best friends, need them to act like perfect, drama-free daughters. This is because Penny’s mother has agreed to be a living liver donor for Tate’s mom.
Forced to live together while their mothers recover, Penny and Tate’s truce is crucial to ensure that everything runs smoothly, including their jobs, the house, the finances, and most importantly, their mothers’ healing process. Despite their efforts to let go of any romantic tension between them, they keep almost kissing.
This confusing thing has been happening for their entire teenage existence, but they’ve never discussed it and have always ignored it after the fact. However, now that they live across the hall from each other, their feelings cannot be ignored forever.
Told through the present and six moments from their past, this dynamic love story showcases that sometimes the person you need the most has been there for you all along. It’s a heartwarming tale that highlights the importance of letting go of the past and embracing love when it presents itself.
5. Behind the Scenes by Karelia Stetz-Waters
Rose Josten is a successful business consultant who has already embraced her love for pugs, adorning them with designer coats and indulging their trash-eating habits. Despite having a fulfilling career and a close relationship with her sisters, Rose feels like there is something missing in her life. To fill this void, she creates sensual mindfulness videos as a secret hobby.
Unexpectedly, Ash Stewart enters Rose’s life, bringing with her a burst of color and excitement. Ash is a former filmmaker who has been left heartbroken after her ex destroyed her reputation, dreams, and career. Rose is unlike anyone Ash has ever met before – beautiful, confident, and put together. Moreover, Rose’s business acumen could be the key to financing Ash’s last film and giving her one last chance to reclaim her lost dreams.
As the two women navigate their growing attraction, they must keep their feelings hidden from the world. Ash’s future in the film industry is riding on this project, and any disruption could result in disaster. But will their attraction be too strong to ignore, or will they be able to create movie magic while keeping their romance under wraps?
6. For Her Consideration by Amy Spalding
Nina Rice, a former romance writer, and aspiring TV scriptwriter have distanced herself from love, Los Angeles, and even her own dreams since her devastating breakup three years ago. She now lives in the suburbs, working from home managing celebrity email accounts for her talent agency job. However, her carefully constructed routine is disrupted when she is unexpectedly called to a meeting with up-and-coming actress Ari Fox.
Ari is open about her sexuality and has a reputation as a control freak, which Nina’s boss warns her about. Despite this, Nina finds herself drawn to Ari and the possibility of reconnecting with her abandoned passion for writing. As they work together, Ari encourages Nina to start writing again and shows interest in getting to know her better.
As Nina reconnects with her old friends and starts working on a new script, she realizes that her growing feelings for Ari could lead to a relationship with a movie star, something she never imagined for herself. Although it’s a risk, she decides that it might just be worth it.
There you have it, the best sapphic books to read in 2023! These books feature diverse and complex characters who are sure to capture your heart and keep you turning the pages. As we continue to push for more representation and diversity in literature, it’s important to support and uplift sapphic authors and stories. These books are just a small sample of the incredible sapphic literature available, and we encourage you to seek out more books and authors to add to your reading list. So, grab a cup of tea, find a cozy spot, and dive into one of these amazing sapphic reads. We can’t wait to hear what you think!