A fellow blogger and published author, Stevie Turner has published many books and novellas in different genres.
I recently bought a Kindle copy of her latest novel, ‘His Ladyship’, and read it in two sessions.
This will be my 5-star review on Amazon.
This is the story of Norman, growing up feeling he is misgendered as part of a family where such things are neither tolerated, nor discussed. The family dynamic is established early on, with Norman being spoilt as the youngest, and having a difficult relationship with his older siblings. This becomes worse when he starts to openly question his sexual identitiy, which is met with a mixture of disappointment and scorn.
His reaction is to withdraw. He stops going to school, then never bothers to find a job. To the outrage of his brothers and sisters, he is mollycoddled by a widowed mother determined to do everything for him. And he lets her. Growing older, and becoming very fat, he spends all of his time in his bedroom, acting out his fantasy of being a woman. Wanting to become Norma, instead of Norman.
In this book we follow his journey to that transition, right up to date with the Covid-19 pandemic lockdowns. Despite some detailed medical information, there is nothing overtly sexual or salacious in this book.
From the start, Norman is very much an unsympathetic character. He is hard to like, selfish, uncaring, and shows little regard for his mother as she grows old, wearing herself out caring for him. When his siblings arrive to berate him for his behaviour, their mother defends him, and Norman locks himself away in his room, refusing to face any criticism.
Once he begins to cross-dress, to stick by his determination to be called Norma, and seek gender reassignment surgery, he has to deal with the lack of understanding from his confused mother, and outright hostility and humiliation from some family members. But that very determination changing Norman into Norma also alters his personality, making him kinder, and allowing him to break free of his room into the outside world.
The world he chooses to explore is the London LGBTQ scene, where he is startled to find acceptance, friendship, and eventually, a temporary job. From this point on, Norma begins to finally grow up, despite already being in her late fifties.
This is a story exploring one person’s difficult experience to be accepted for what she has always believed she was. Facing counselling, painful surgery, and long years of waiting.
I finished the book really liking Norma, and rooting for her to find peace and happiness.